CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Tech Industry

SAP gains support for Linux plans

SAP announces a team of industry heavyweights--including IBM, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard--that will help the company throw its support behind Linux.

As expected, SAP today announced a team of industry heavyweights--including IBM, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard--that will help the company throw its support behind Linux.

Initially, the German software giant said it will support Red Hat's version of Linux for R/3 on Intel-based systems. Red Hat, which sells the Linux operating system packaged with other software and technical help, also supports Compaq's Alpha and Sun Microsystem's> Sparc-based systems.

SAP said customers will be able to order preinstalled and preconfigured R/3 systems on Linux. The firm plans its first shipment of SAP R/3 on Linux in the third quarter.

At a press conference held today, Gunther Tolkmit, senior marketing vice president for SAP AG, said customers who have experience with other versions of Unix can easily apply that knowledge to Linux.

Tolkmit said the company is looking into supporting other versions of Linux, but at this time is committed solely to Red Hat's distribution.

SAP, along with Oracle, has been one of the early enterprise resource planning software vendors to proclaim key support for Linux, a Unix-like operating system.

Linux can be obtained for free or at little cost on the Web. Its proponents argue that it is the operating system of choice for its reliability and the fact that it can be easily customized. Programmers can modify the Linux "source code"--the underlying blueprints of the operating system--to tailor Linux for specific tasks.

While SAP executives say they think Linux is a platform suitable for business applications, some analysts said they doubt whether more than 10 percent of SAP customers will use Linux, when they are already committed to other established operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows NT, various other versions of Unix, or Novell Netware, to run their mission-critical applications.

In a related announcement, IBM said today it will provide SAP clients with software, server, and technical support on Linux. Linux support will be provided on IBM Netfinity servers and the DB2 Universal Database.

In addition, Siemens AG said it will offer R/3 for Linux on the firm's Primergy server line. Other partners supporting SAP's Linux initiative include Compaq and Hewlett-Packard.

At the CeBit trade show today in Hannover, Germany, SAP is expected to demonstrate R/3 running on Linux.

.