Allaire Fuses Linux and E-Commerce

Moving to implement its recently announcede-commerce strategy, Web application platform vendor Allaire Corp. (Nasdaq: ALLR) has announced that its cross-platform Web application server has been updated to run on the Linux open-source operating system (OS). ColdFusion 4.5 — which features Java integration, service-level failover and enhanced XML support for business-to-businesse-commerce — is one of the first commercial application servers for Linux, according to Allaire. The product is designed to be a platform for creating e-commerce and enterprise systems.

“There is no question that Web application development is moving into the mainstream of IT organizations in leading companies world wide, and we’re hearing strong demand for UNIX, Java and XML support,” commented Adam Berrey, product marketing director for Allaire. “With this release of ColdFusion, we are decisively answering that demand and putting Allaire in a position to meet the needs of the highly strategic Linux community.”

Consummating An E-Commerce Strategy

The updated ColdFusion product, according to Allaire, is intended to complete its foundational investment in e-commerce, providing users higher availability for large-scale applications and increased integration capabilities with existing systems.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company recently acquired Bright Tiger Technologies and Live Software.

“The enterprise customers we’re talking with are looking to vendors to provide a complete, Web-centric e-business platform that offers both open application server technology and customizable packaged systems,” stated Jeremy Allaire, vice president of technology strategy for Allaire. “The release of this version of ColdFusion is a key milestone in our broader strategy to deliver a complete e-business platform that allows companies to quickly and reliably move their businesses to the Web.”

The Enterprise edition ColdFusion Server 4.5, which runs natively on UNIX, will be priced at $3,495 (US$), with lower-priced Professional and Express versions available. The product is available for HP-UX, Linux, Solaris and Windows NT, and additional French, German and Japanese editions will be made available in early 2000.

Linux and the Future of E-Commerce

“More and more of the general public have the want and the need to transact (using) e-commerce, and they are not willing to fork out the thousands of dollars for Solaris, or full BSD,” stated Hal Halvorson in a Wired report. “Their first choice is Linux.”

Halvorson indicated that he has been running a Linux e-commerce server for three years without a crash. The Linux OS has been moving into the server market, where an increasing number of firms engaged in e-commerce are recognizing the benefits of open-source over the proprietary code of Microsoft Windows.

Results from performance tests earlier this year — conducted by Silicon Valley-based Mindcraft — showed that Windows NT outperformed Linux. However, according to Sam Ockman, President of Penguin Computing, “Linux is far superior to Windows NT in four very important categories that were not considered in the tests: Reliability, stability, security and expandability. These are some of the most important factors for any IT manager in making a purchasing decision.”

Rapid Linux Expansion

“The Linux server operating environment market has experienced outstanding growth over the last two years, growing by well over 100 percent CAGR during this time period,” said William Peterson, research manager for International Data Corporation (IDC). “With ColdFusion 4.5, Allaire is poised to increase market share, due to the growing popularity of Linux.”

IDC numbers indicate that sales of Linux-based products will expand at twice the rate of all other server operating systems combined — approximately 25 versus approximately 12 percent — each year until 2003. Last year, Linux server software shipments grew 181 percent, rising to approximately 717,000 or 14 percent of the total server operating environment market, noted Peterson.

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