INTERNET - June 22, 1998 - The Apache Group announced today that they are entering into an engineering partnership with IBM for development of the open-source Apache HTTP server software. IBM will be contributing engineering manpower and technology to the project, and will be incorporating the award-winning Apache software into the IBM line of WebSphere Application Server software, as well as providing support and services for the Apache platform. A technical representative from IBM will be joining the Apache Group, which directs the Apache development effort.
The Apache Group is a non-profit international organization comprised of individuals who jointly develop software for serving World Wide Web pages from Unix and NT systems. The Apache HTTP server software is available at no cost, with an open-source license. Several other companies sell derivative products and services based on the Apache distribution. Apache and Apache-based software runs on over half of the Web sites on the Internet, according to numbers published by Netcraft Ltd.
"This is a major endorsement of the open-source software development model, and of the quality of the code we have developed," said Brian Behlendorf, Apache Group member. "IBM will benefit by having a world-class Web serving solution to offer to its customers; the Apache Group, and by proxy all users of Apache or Apache-derived software, will benefit through contributions back to the project by IBM developers."
Paraic Sweeney, vice president of IBM's WebSphere Application Server Marketing, said, "IBM is pleased to join the Apache Group, and in shipping the Apache HTTP Server with the WebSphere Application Server, IBM is providing customers with commercial grade support to a highly successful product across a broad range of customers."
"Open-source development efforts have existed on the Internet for as long as it has been around, and much of the software that makes the Internet work was developed that way," said Ken Coar, another member of the Apache Group. "It's very encouraging that IBM, a major player in the computer industry, is recognizing the power and value of the open-source model. By supporting an open-source project rather than pursuing a proprietary and competitive effort, IBM is helping to assure that Internet software and standards will be the best they can be for everyone, and not just serve a single interest. This way, everyone benefits."
"Apache's emphasis on developing software according to the latest Internet standards, and feeding that development experience back into the standards specification process of the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF), makes the Apache HTTP server an ideal platform for both non-profit and commercial products," said Roy Fielding, an Apache Group member and researcher at the University of California, Irvine. "IBM's involvement in the Apache Group gives them access to both a robust implementation of current Web technology and a premier forum for the development of the future Web architecture. Researchers call this `technology transfer,' but in the commercial world it is just good business sense."
"I am excited to see IBM join the large group of individuals and companies that develop and support open-source software," said Dean Gaudet, Apache Group member. "I can't help but feel that we'll see more companies begin experimenting with the open development model. It is great to be a part of this."
With this move, IBM becomes the latest in a series of commercial ventures to support the Apache HTTP server project, joining long-time current contributors C2Net Software (<http://www.c2.net/>), Covalent Technologies (<http://www.covalent.net/>), A. L. Digital (<http://www.aldigital.co.uk/>), and jaguNET Access Services (<http://www.jaguNET.com>).
The Apache Group was founded in 1995 to address the need for a public, open-source, reference implementation of the HTTP protocol which is the foundation of the World Wide Web. The software is developed through a collaborative process, involving 18 "core" developers and hundreds of auxiliary contributors. More information on the Apache project can be found at <http://www.apache.org/>.
The Netcraft Internet Web survey can be accessed online at <http://www.netcraft.com/Survey/>.