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IBM Adds SUSE to ISV Certification Program

IBM announced the launch of a SUSE Linux development and certification program for ISVs at nine of its 25 Innovation Centers, officials said Wednesday.

The addition of the popular Novell Linux distribution comes three months after the Armonk, N.Y., IT giant launched a similar program for developers on the Red Hat platform.

The certification initiative was created to get developers to create applications on IBM's middleware, software and server platforms. It features the testing capabilities of its Innovation Centers, online resources to create applications compatible with IBM and the applicable Linux distribution, and expand IBM's reach in the ISV community through its PartnerWorld program.

IBM's goal is to double the amount of Linux-based applications developed on the IBM platform. According to officials, 6,000 applications have already been created, 2,000 of which came from ISVs.

As part of the joint program, Novell will give ISVs copies of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server software and documentation to go along with the IBM offerings. Novell officials will also provide resources to get ISVs visiting the site to sign up for the Novell Technology Partner Program so they can certify their programs on SUSE.

IBM has an online three-step process to get ISVs signed up and on the path to migrate their applications: an IBM-hosted Web page to sign up for Novell's partner program, a sign-up page for IBM's PartnerWorld program, and then re-direction to IBM's Innovation Center Web site.

Todd Chase, IBM Innovation Center program director, said IBM's intent is to get Red Hat support in more centers in the future around the world. The Red Hat program is available in four centers, one each in the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Germany; SUSE will find its way into three centers in the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

"I think that by the time this is all done, we'll have worldwide programs from both vendors," he said. "You can't offer all things to all people at all centers; it's just too much to ask."

While the company has no plans to include other specific Linux distributions into the certification program for ISVs, Chase said the others are supported through IBM's efforts with the Chiphopper program, or IBM eServer Application Server Advantage for Linux. Chiphopper provides resources and tools geared for Linux Standard Base (LSB) conformity.