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Novell tweaks software to meet ISP needs

The network software provider launches software designed to cater to the needs of Internet service providers and application hosting companies.

Network software provider Novell announced today it has recrafted a set of software to cater to the needs of Internet service providers and application hosting companies.

The new Novell OnDemand Services allow an Internet service provider (ISP) or application service provider (ASP) to offer goods and services over the Internet on a fee-for-use basis, incorporating Novell's directory services technology.

The move marks Novell's latest bid to alter its traditional software focus to take advantage of its own technology strengths, as well as market trends toward network-based computing. The company is increasingly relying on its directory services software--a kind of database for network and computer user information--over its NetWare operating system to drive its sales.

Using the technology, an ISP can charge for software, documents or video it sells to customers, for example.

The technology will be available in June and will be sold using a licensing model that will charge a service provider on a per-user and per-month basis, with fees assessed as content and services are interchanged through Novell's software. Wizmo, a Minnesota-based ASP, has signed on as an early customer of the software.

"Novell is looking very seriously at the ASP market," said Michael Brown, product manager for Novell OnDemand Services.

Separately, Novell recently announced a test version of a new software tool based on XML (Extensible Markup Language) called Novell XML Integration Services. The software serves as a "hub" to tie together various software applications.

XML is a Web standard for exchanging data that proponents say will allow companies to easily and cheaply conduct online transactions with customers and partners. While HTML, the language for creating Web sites, has a predefined vocabulary, XML allows software developers to define their own vocabulary for building custom systems that can exchange data, such as price and product information.

Novell, which preannounced an earnings shortfall earlier this month, will report earnings at the close of the market tomorrow.