Thanks to Farrel for responding to my "plea" and for the contact details of other users.

I don't think this is a good move...MS-Office is bloatware, and as MS patents it's XML formats (the Patent Office is sooooo stoopid! Tomorrow, I will patent Air, and start charging everyone on Earth usage fees!), many may move away from it, if only for interoperablity sake. But that's just my personal opinions.

This is crazy; IBM may believe that OOo does'nt meet users requirements but that does'nt gel with our experience.

I'm faced by UniVerse customers who want to get away from Microsoft, read about IBMs commitment to Linux, which I don't for a minute doubt, but I cannot offer an alternative to MS Office where the users need to use reporting tools similar to MSQuery because ODBC drivers from IBM for U2 products on Linux are not available and the JDBC does'nt "quite" work with OOo. To get around this, we're still using StarOffice 5.2 which supports ODBC 2.0, but only on Windows PCs.

Firstly, the performance of OOo is really good and we have not been able to match it with MS Office on a thin-client platform. At a customer site we have successfully migrated 45 users onto a single Intel-based server running Linux and OpenOffice for thin-client based users. This includes those users who have the RTC syndrome (resistance to change) like the executive secretaries and personal assistants. Whatever functionality may be missing in OOo that is in MS Office is obviously not used. This includes receiving and sending MS Office documents (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) to the corporate head-office who have inplemented MS Office.

The server also acts as the browser server for 20 users, print and file services for the other 35 Windows users who are still to be converted and telnet server for the 45 users who access UniVerse applications running on IBM pSeries 615 from their low-end P1 133 Mhz PC-based thin clients.

Secondly, You can already run MSOffice as well as IE6 on Linux under Wine and can install it easily with crossover from Codeweavers, and the performance in a thinclient environment is reasonable but does not compare to OOo on Linux - we've tried MS Office/IE; it works. We've even installed Dynamic Connect on Linux with some success.

The third issue is the cost of implementing,upgrading,licensing MS Office. A thin client solution using MS tools (Win2000/RTS licences,MS Office licences etc) is horrendous; but porting MS Office to Linux will only eliminate the OS/RTS level licencing but you'll still have to pay good money for MS Office.

The point is that there is an excellent alternative and IBM could make the implementation of U2 products more cost-effective for users by ensuring that the "interfaces" (ODBC,JDBC etc) actually work with non-MS systems, for example what about supporting Lotus Approach - is'nt it still their product. If IBM support MSOffice on Linux will the client tools, UniDK etc,. for the U2 products be ported to Linux as well - probably not at a guess, which pretty much leaves the U2 community committed to an MS desktop environment.

What about the porting of UniVerse/UniData to Linux on the pSeries.

Ian Stuart

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