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Novell outlines plans for Netware 5.0

Novell discloses plans to deliver an add-on pack for NetWare 5.0, code-named Cobra, and reviews an upcoming small-business software package.

Novell offered a sneak peak this week at forthcoming technologies it hopes will keep the networking software maker in the thick of the action.

Novell formally disclosed plans to deliver an add-on pack for current versions of its flagship NetWare 5.0 operating system, code-named Cobra. Company executives also reviewed their strategy for an upcoming version of a small-business software package that's based on its latest operating system release.

Novell plans to discuss the technology additions at next week's Networld+Interop industry trade show, according to executives.

The plans come on the heels of a variety of moves intended to open up and round out Novell's software story. As part of a busy March--highlighted by the company's user conference--the company rolled out a partnership with IBM to deliver a Web-based application development package for NetWare and said it would make public some of the operating system's core protocols, long considered Novell's crown jewels.

Topping the list of enhancements called Cobra is Novell's previously announced intention to implement the HTTP protocol, one of the basic Web page delivery mechanisms for the Net, in NetWare 5.0. The HTTP server, along with inclusion of a copy of database giant Oracle's 8i and WebDB software, Netscape Communications' Enterprise Server for NetWare, and IBM's WebSphere suite of application tools further the company's aims to be Web-friendly, a previous criticism of the firm.

Also included in the Cobra add-on pack to NetWare 5.0 are FrontPage Extensions and WebDav tools from Microsoft.

Dates for shipment and pricing for the Cobra add-on were not disclosed. The add-on will come in advance of an upgrade to NetWare, dubbed 6 Pack, that is expected in advance of a forthcoming 64-bit version of the operating system called Modesto, itself tied to the delivery of the Merced chip from Intel, now expected in mid-2000.

The increasing flow of software from Novell is part of an updated process to deliver more incremental functionality to the company's user base, according to Brad Dew, product marketing manager for NetWare 5.0.

In addition, the company said it will deliver the Novell Small Business Suite 5.0, an upgrade to the company's small business-focused package that includes NetWare 5.0, according to executives.

Included in the update is the company's GroupWise 5.5 collaboration software, a NetWare management agent, version 3.0 of the company's BorderManager FastCache, Zen Works 1.1 management software starter kit, a copy of Oracle 8, Netscape's Enterprise Server for Netware, and various third-party software tools covering virus detection, network faxing, and application development.

Release data and pricing for the small business version of NetWare is not yet available.