Certification Strategy

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-01-17 Print this article Print

Some developers complain about Oracles Collaboration Suite only being certified for Red Hat Application Server 2.1 and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7. Are there any plans to certify Collaboration Suite on more Linux alternatives? Our certification program for all Oracle products is concentrated on commercial enterprise-class versions of Linux. Red Hat has Advanced Server 2.1 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, their current product. We support those versions and SuSEs [current versions]. We decided to support two to give customers choice, but were not going out and supporting many. Were providing direct code-level support if the customer has any problems.
Some people complain about being forced onto Linux. For example, they ask, "When I put in a new kernel and the system crashes, whos going to support us? Newsgroups?" Whats your response to that attitude?
Thats exactly the reason why Oracle got into support. In the Linux world, you end up with multiple communities. We tend, as readers and publishers of news, to blur the lines between what is created in the open-source community and what has created success in the commercial software community. People can apply changes, look at the source code, and go to the open-source community to get solutions. Thats certainly not how we expect high-end customers to support Linux. Lets not confuse whats possible for someone to do with what they should be doing. While its possible for them to apply their own fixes and manage their own source code, it doesnt mean they should be doing that. The model Oracles created with Linux is for customers to get a higher level of support than they get with other platforms. It gives Oracle the capability to apply fixes directly to the Linux operating system. I would agree with the argument that it makes no sense for companies to do their own maintenance of open-source code. Were a professional software and support company, and so we provide that support for the customer. We help identify what are the appropriate updates. Were now taking that responsibility for the Linux operating system as well. Editors note: eWEEK.com has learned that Dave Dargo is leaving Oracle because of personal reasons. An Oracle spokeswoman said that a replacement has not yet been named.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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