Guest Post by Brett Waldman, Analyst, IDC
This summer Novell officially launched SUSE Gallery, an online showcase designed to share and promote software built with SUSE Studio. The first thing visitors notice is that anyone can share an appliance that they made with SUSE Studio. This is a good strategy for Novell to take, as at it makes the development process very inclusive — even for people just tinkering with SUSE Studio.
SUSE Gallery does provide ISVs and part-time developers the ability to create and share any SUSE-based application they can come up with. Currently the front page of SUSE Gallery is filled with development and desktop systems. But as more ISVs sign up for the SUSE Appliance program, no doubt more robust server-based appliances will emerge.
Indeed, SUSE Gallery is already showing off some interesting software built with SUSE Studio. For example, a search for “medical” turns up three distinct appliances aimed at the medical community. This means that doctors or hospital IT staff can test three different applications very easily, and decide if one is right for them. If the application happens to be open-source, then users can even contribute or provide bug fixes.
One issue with software appliances today has been a lack of vertically-specific line-of-business applications. Now users are able to create a software appliance out of any Linux-based application (open-sourced or with ISV permission) and share it with the entire community. The appliance can then be enhanced and/or modified for any additional purposes that particular users might have.
For those new to the software-appliance concept, SUSE Gallery provides a very intuitive security summary that includes important information, such as whether only official sources were used to create the app, what custom software or files were uploaded (if any), and whether any custom scripts were included. This is a nice touch for the risk-conscious business users out there.
All in all, the site is very inviting to developers and end users alike as an easy and safe way to try out new software. SUSE Gallery even appears to have the potential to succeed as a platform on which to build a community.