J.D. Edwards makes a Linux move

The company is embracing the open-source Linux operating system with a new version of its software that lets businesses keep track of their customers.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
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Stephen Shankland
2 min read
Business software maker J.D. Edwards is embracing the open-source Linux operating system with a new version of its software that lets companies keep track of their customers.

The company's customer relationship management software package will be the first of its programs to be brought to Linux, spokesman Tim Stack said Wednesday. The Linux version of the package is due later this year.

J.D. Edwards took a different Linux route than major software companies such as Oracle and Veritas that have warmed to the relatively new operating system. Where Oracle and Veritas have backed Red Hat, the most widely used version of Linux, J.D. Edwards is starting its support with SuSE, said Lenley Hensarling, J.D. Edwards' vice president of product management for tools and technologies.

The company's deal with SuSE isn't exclusive, though. "Initially, J.D. Edwards CRM is being offered on the SuSE Linux platform, but it really depends on what the customer needs. If a customer is committed to Red Hat Linux, for example, we certainly would work with the customer to support its Linux platform of choice," Hensarling said.

Linux, a clone and competitor of Unix, is gradually spreading from lower-end servers such as those used to host Web sites to more powerful systems running large databases. It's the same path Microsoft is trying to take with its Windows operating system, and a key part of the success of the transition is backing from heavyweight software companies that have experience with higher-end systems.

Red Hat has an explicit program to foster good relations with software companies, but competitors including SuSE have banded together in a program called UnitedLinux to better attract their own business partners. Red Hat has more than twice the market share of the UnitedLinux allies, market research firm IDC says.

J.D. Edwards' Linux products will run on IBM's Intel-based servers and include IBM's DB2 database software and WebSphere e-commerce software. In addition, IBM will jointly market the product with J.D. Edwards, and IBM Global Services will install and customize the product.