While I expected development software there is a whole new area where Linux is becoming active: database software.
I was just flipping through back issues of Linux Journal looking for an idea for this column. What caught my eye was the change in profile of Linux Journal advertisers. CD-ROM distributors such as InfoMagic, Trans-Ameritech and Yggdrasil have been there from the beginning as have the systems distributors like Fintronic and Promox. The only Linux application that was advertised was Techplot from Amtec Engineering.
Things are changing. We have seen press releases and advertisements from hardware vendors (Cyclades communications board, for example), and software vendors. While I expected development software there is a whole new area where Linux is becoming active: database software.
New products from Revolutionary Software, Infoflex, WorkGroup Solutions, Poet Software and Ray Ontko & Co. offer commercial alternatives to Ingres and Postgres that come with many Linux distributions.
Finally, trade shows are starting to recognize the potential of Linux. Linux Journal is sponsoring a 2-day Linux track at Open Systems World. This puts Linux on an even keel with commercial tracks on NT, SCO and Solaris at the same show. Hopefully this will be a good chance for those of us in the Linux community to not just rub shoulders with “the commercial guys” but also to show them what we have to offer.
What does this mean? To me it means that Linux is well on its way to the commercial market. Six issues from now I expect that I will see ads and press releases for applications using the databases that have recently appeared. End users probably won't be asking “is it Linux” vs. “is it Unix” or “is it Netware” or “is it NT”. What they want is a solution and if we can offer the solution that works well we should get the market. And, the cost of Linux gives us a serious advantage.