NetWare 6.5 should win Novell points in the open-source community and with developers. To Apache, PERL and Tomcat, Novell has added the commercial version of the popular MySQL database, which means Novell customers don't have to worry about license restrictions on software developed inhouse using MySQL. NetWare 6.5 also supports PHP 4.2.3; has enhanced its PERL 5.8 support; and has replaced the Netscape-based Web server with Apache 2.
To test out the Web server, I installed some PHP applications from www.hotscripts.com. As expected, just about every project I tried worked great. You can find a few additional PHP modules for NetWare at forge.novell.com. There were a few minor glitches with these, however. For example, webnotes, a simple file-based note program, didn't like writing files back to the NetWare server.
To shake the stigma that NetWare is not an applications platform, Novell has included the Extend Application Server from last year's SilverStream acquisition. The Extend server makes it easy to write and run Web applications (for more on Web services, see "Serving Up Soap").