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Big Blue continues freeware push

IBM says it is enhancing the HTTP services in its WebSphere application server to further support the open source code Apache HTTP server.

Big Blue continues to embrace the freeware world.

IBM announced this week it is enhancing the HTTP services in its WebSphere application server to boost performance and security and further support the open source code Apache HTTP server.

"IBM is committed to bringing the advantages and benefits of enterprise-strength technology to all Web builders and developers," said Paraic Sweeney, vice president of IBM's Web server marketing. "Our delivery of value-add technology for Apache and IBM WebSphere customers, such as performance boosting on [Microsoft's]Windows NT, as well as contributions to the Apache Project, bring companies the functionality they need to create powerful e-business solutions."

The announcement is part of IBM's ongoing effort to be a major player in the lucrative Web application server market.

The WebSphere product Source code for the masses line was first discussed earlier this summer and is complemented by new Web server software from the Apache Project. It also builds on the announcement of Windows NT-based software suites from IBM in May.

IBM's latest effort includes adding to the server technology called the Fast Response Cache Accelerator that boosts the performance of HTTP services on NT, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support so that users can add to Web sites such things as financial transactions or other information requiring secured sites. IBM also announced a port of the Apache HTTP Server to the AS/400 operating system. The AS/400 port will be offered to the Apache Group through the open source model.

The caching system and SSL technologies will be free and a part of all versions of the WebSphere servers in the next release scheduled for the end of the year. The caching system will also be used with the HTTP Server for OS/390(a), and will be available as part of OS/390 Version 2 Release 7 due out in March.