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ActiveGrid runs with LAMP

Open-source startup ActiveGrid on Wednesday released its first products and modified and company's branding to emphasize LAMP, the popular combination of open-source development products. It has also hired a new vice president of engineering: former Sun Microsystems executive Larry Abrahams.

The San Francisco-based company said that its products -- ActiveGrid Application Builder and LAMP Application Server -- are available under the Apache 2.0 license.

ActiveGrid will charge $300 a year for ongoing support for Application Builder and $1,000 a year for the server. The application server and tools are designed as an alternative to Java 2 Enterprise Edition (now called Java Platform, Enterprise Edition) and Microsoft's .Net.

The application server provides services, such as session management and caching, while the development tool is designed to rapidly build Web applications. By the end of this year, ActiveGrid will release a commercial version meant for high-end LAMP applications, which will add integration with identity servers, said company CEO Peter Yared.

In conjunction with the product release, ActiveGrid now calls itself the "enterprise LAMP" company. The change reflects growing recognition that LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and the P scripting languages) is viewed as a viable alternative to Java and .Net, Yared said.

"Something changed--more and more people know LAMP but two years ago when we started people didn't," Yared said. One of the company's two customers, for example, is using the ActiveGrid's software to replace some of its BEA WebLogic applications, he said.