canonical-ubuntu-server-edition-alfrescoJust when I was getting a little worried about Ubuntu Server Edition's ISV (independent software vendor) support, I received a heads up from John Pugh, software partner manager at Canonical. The timely news involved some Ubuntu-Alfresco developments. Here's the scoop. And more importantly, here are some bigger-picture thoughts about Canonical's ISV efforts on the server.

According to a press release issued July 28:
Alfresco Software Inc, the leader in open source enterprise content management (ECM), today announced that Alfresco Community Edition 3.2 is available as an easy-to-install package from the Ubuntu software repositories. The Ubuntu and Alfresco communities can now easily get up and running with Alfresco Community Edition.
Alfresco's support is particularly critical to Ubuntu Server Edition's business prospects. Remember: Alfresco, an enterprise content management system, positions itself as the open source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint. As financial markets improve, I suspect Alfresco could be among the rare open source companies that launches an IPO (initial public offering).

Big Praise

Now, check out the prepared quote from Martin Musierowicz, VP of alliances at Alfresco Software:
"Ubuntu Server Edition is the most popular Linux distribution amongst the Alfresco user community. We see many open source community members looking to use a combination of Alfresco as their content management solution and Ubuntu as their chosen operating system."
That's a stunningly candid statement from Musierowicz, especially considering Alfresco's tight relationship with Red Hat. For Canonical and Ubuntu Server Edition to compete effectively against Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux (check out the new SUSE Appliance Program), Canonical needs more endorsements from leading ISVs.

I was upbeat during LinuxWorld 2008 (August, San Francisco), where companies like Alfresco, Openbravo (open source ERP and POS) and Unison Communications (closed source unified communications) vowed to support Ubuntu Server Edition.

Fast forward to July 2009, and I haven't heard much from the ISV community in terms of Ubuntu Server Edition support.

I suspect Canonical's Pugh is working to change that.

Don't Forget the Cloud

Canonical's server strategy certainly pushes beyond ISVs and hardware OEMs. I've been particularly impressed with Canonical's expanding cloud strategy -- which includes relationships with Eucalyptus Systems, Amazon Web Services, CohesiveFT and RightScale.

Next up, Canonical needs to connect the dots between its cloud partners and the company's Ubuntu Server Edition ISVs.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Basic progress -- like the Ubuntu-Alfresco connection -- is good to see.

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