IBM Adds Mac Support to IDS for Higher Education

IBM's "Cheetah 2" Informix Dynamic Server 11, will be compatible with Mac Leopard and let Mac users in on applications meant for Linux, Unix and Windows.

IBM will add Mac OS X Leopard to the list of operating systems supported by its Informix Dynamic Server 11, giving colleges and universities a new path to applications previously out of reach or difficult to customize.

IDS 11, dubbed "Cheetah 2," is currently in beta and will be compatible with Mac OS X v 10.5 Leopard, IBM said. IDS 11 will add OLTP (online transaction processing) data serving capabilities for Macs currently supported by Linux, Unix and Windows operating systems, IBM said.

"Support for Mac for IDS was driven by VARs who wanted to deliver applications on the Mac platform for their higher education customers," said Bernie Spang, director of IBM data servers. Some VARs already provide Mac applications to their education clients but weren't able to do so using IDS , Spang said.

Higher education has a great interest and investment in the Mac, encompassing a variety of roles from administration to research, said Anthony Southworth, the manager of research and technology at Jenzabar, an IBM partner that develops enterprise software for colleges and universities.

Jenzabar's database management software provides Web-enabled applications for managing all types of campus data ranging from admissions, alumni development, payroll and student life, among others, the company said.

Before the addition of Mac support, Southworth said Jenzabar structured their products around a Java-based development environment so they'd be able to work together with Windows- and Linux-based workstations running campus management applications.

"If the customer's IT staff are running Macs, they really like to have their development workstations be Mac compatible," Southworth said. "We wanted an environment they'd be familiar with," he said.

Jenzabar currently has about 770 higher education clients running one of their two flagship database management software products, CX for Windows and EX for Linux operating systems, said a Jenzabar spokesperson, including Columbia College Chicago, Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., and Ohio Wesleyan University .