Oracle pushes Linux to ISVs

Oracle Corp. has launched a support and marketing program to encourage ISVs (independent software vendors) to develop Linux-based Oracle applications.

Oracle's Unbreakable Linux program will help ISVs with development work, with porting current applications to Linux, and with marketing, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Mark Jarvis said Wednesday.

The US$150 million campaign will include free development software for ISVs, a Linux software pack for porting current applications to run on Linux, plus design and testing help.

A two-for-one marketing fund means Oracle will give US$2 for every US$1 spent on approved marketing campaigns, Jarvis said.

Pascal Gremiaux, product marketing manager of Access Commerce SA, said Access has been moving its products to Linux over the past six months. The Toulouse, France, company's Cameleon software automates sales of tailored or customized products. It was a customer-driven decision to move to Linux, Gremiaux said, with clients asking to move to Oracle but looking for low cost, reliable solutions.

Rudi van Havermaet, sales and marketing director of DCS Transport and Logistics Solutions, part of DCS group PLC in London, agreed that customer demand is the driver. DCS is not pushing its customers to use Linux, but is responding to demand, he said. "Customers in the transport industry want to cut costs, and they want reliability and functionality." It took a year of debate within the company to make the decision, he said, "but with Oracle behind it we had enough confidence to say we would support it."

All Oracle products are now available on Linux and the company now recommends Linux for mid-tier applications to all its new customers, Jarvis said. "It's what we run our own business on, so it's hard not to recommend it," he said.

Most database customers are also recommended to run on Linux, Jarvis said. "About 75 percent of the time, we recommend Linux. It's down to size and manageability constraints, because manageability is one issue with Linux. But that'll be fixed soon," he said. Oracle itself is developing solutions to Linux's manageability problems, he said.

Oracle is not promoting Linux ahead of other platforms, but offering a new option that customers want, Jarvis said. Linux is expected to grow by 58 percent in the next five years, he said.

Pricing will be consistent across operating systems. "The benefits of the lower costs will be shared across all customers," Jarvis said.

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