VA Linux Announces First Software Offering
- By John K. Waters
In its first big proclamation since the company's dramatic course change in July, former Linux hardware vendor VA Linux Systems introduced a new collaborative programming toolkit last week (Nov 5). SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.0 is now the centerpiece of the company's product offerings, and the key to its survival strategy.
Hardware had been central to the Fremont, CA-based company's business since its founding in 1993, and seemed to be the engine driving a memorable IPO in 1999. But a reported lack of profitability caused the company to shift gears last summer and stop selling its Linux computers. (The company still provides technical support for users of those systems.)
"The hardware business is a business that uses a lot of cash. With the downturn in the economy, we just couldn't see we could get it back to a profitable level," The company's CEO, Larry Augustin. said at the time.
The company is said to be planning to change its name to VA Software.
Originally launched as an open-source project, the new SourceForge Enterprise Edition is a proprietary version of the company's SourceForge OnSite service. According to the company, the collaborative software development (CSD) platform is already used by about a quarter million software developers worldwide. The 3.0 version of the software is designed to help companies accelerate development and centralize knowledge by improving internal visibility and control. This version introduces new features, including:
- Pervasive search capabilities.
- Expanded monitoring and reporting capabilities.
- An Oracle database integration module.
- Advanced document management features.
- An enhanced automatic installer.
- Improved source control.
- Issue tracking integration.
- Flexible workflow capabilities.
"SourceForge helps our customers cope with their most critical software development challengesfrom coordinating distributed development teams around the globe, to accelerating software development faster than their competition," said Richard French, senior vice president of marketing, VA Linux, in a press release. "By enabling collaboration and automatically capturing developer interaction, SourceForge helps organizations maximize development productivity and create code more quickly, more efficiently and less expensively."
SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.0 is scheduled to ship November 16.
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John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached