The SCO Group Inc. Wednesday announced its new Web services strategy including a framework known as SCOx that is geared at bringing SCOs developers, resellers and small-to-medium (SMB) business customers running SCO Unix and Linux to the world of Web services.
The Lindon, Utah-based operating systems and business solutions company said the majority of the components in the SCOx framework will be available by the time the company showcases the technology at its annual conference, SCO Forum, in Las Vegas in mid-August.
SCO officials said the SCOx framework provides a gradual and smooth transition to Web services, allowing users to integrate their existing SCO-based applications, as well as other Web services-enabled applications—such as Microsoft Corp.s .Net and Java 2 Enterprise Edition application server-based applications—into the Web services environment.
Eric Hughes, SCOs director of product management, said, “Our Web services strategy is not an abrupt change in direction but a continuation of what weve done over the years.”
SCO officials said more than 4,000 applications run on SCOs operating environments, including several vertical markets and SMBs.
By Web services enabling its operating system functions, SCO will enable users to maintain a Web front end to legacy applications, as well as application-to-application integration, Hughes said.
“This will help our customers get online and join the e-business economy and deliver best-of-breed applications,” he said.
SCO said the company has built a Web services layer above its operating systems that consists of application programming interfaces, a set of libraries, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML support, additional security and metering capabilities into its new SCOx framework. In addition, SCO is providing a set of tools to make up a software development kit for building Web services applications.
SCO also is in the process of building a certification center for users to be able to test and certify their applications developed under the framework.
Hughes said all the pertinent pieces of the SCOx framework would be available SCO Forum in August. “Framework 1.0 will be available at [SCO] Forum in August,” he said.
Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, a Cambridge, Mass.-based market research firm, said the interesting part about SCOs announcement “is that it is solidly aimed at the mid-market—a space that has been slow to adopt Web services, when compared to the enterprise segment.” One of the reasons for this is that integration at the mid-market level is external—with suppliers, partners and customers—rather than internal, so security concerns have hindered mid-market adoption of Web services, he said.
“Therefore, SCOs combination of Web services security support and their strong support of the channel positions them to make solid inroads into the nascent mid-market Web services space,” Bloomberg said.
Bloombergs ZapThink partner, Ronald Schmelzer agreed, but said a market used to external integration and mostly homogeneous systems sets up Microsoft as to claim the spoils.
“However, Linux is increasingly gaining traction in the SMB markets, and it is clear that SCO realizes that there is a market opportunity here,” Schmelzer said.