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SAP, ClickSoftware sign reseller deal

Today's headlines: SAP signs up to be a reseller, and Dell launches its first thin client.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.

SAP, ClickSoftware sign reseller deal

SAP announced a new reseller deal today, but it's not what you'd think. SAP is actually the reseller, agreeing to sell ClickSoftware's Service Optimization Suite. Under the deal, SAP will rebrand the product as the SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization application by ClickSoftware, a Burlington, Mass., company. The application lets mobile workers access and analyze data to make job scheduling and resource allocation decisions, the companies said.

Dell launches first thin client

Dell announced its first thin client with desktop streaming, as well as a line of three other new commercial desktops this week. The OptiFex FX160 thin client supports streamed operating systems for virtual desktops and starts at $399. Dell is also expanding its Flexible Computing Solutions (FCS) to include global availability of On-Demand Desktop Streaming, which means data is hosted on a server in the data center with processing occurring on the local client.

FCS will also now include Virtual Remote Desktop, which enables assessing of client desktops from a variety of devices and locations. The other desktops released include the OptiPlex 960, which starts at $863 and is touted to be 28% faster than competitive machines; the OptiPlex 760, which has improved management capabilities and starts at $593; and the OptiPlex 360, which starts at $476.

Canonical adds virtualization to Ubuntu release

Canonical will launch Ubuntu 8.10 -- called Intrepid Ibex -- server and desktop editions with improvements in virtualization, security, management and the Java development stack Thursday, according to The server edition includes the open source VMBuilder, a Web-based tool that lets users create and deploy virtual machines. In addition, Canonical has made it easier to run its KVM-based virtual machines as guests on Xen-based hypervisors.

Ubuntu 8.10 features a free client version of Landscape Manager, Ubuntu's systems management and monitoring application. It also includes significant development and security improvements with the Apache Tomcat 6.0 and OpenJDK (Java Development Kit) programming tools. Users can download the new edition from the Ubuntu website.

IBM pumps out another Express offering

IBM yesterday unveiled Web-based test management software built on IBM's collaborative Jazz technology. The new IBM Rational Quality Manager Express software checks off buzzwords in spades, offering a "Web 2.0 collaborative, customizable environment" for test planning, construction, deployment and execution of software. IBM bought Rational Software and its development and modeling expertise in 2002. At that time Rational's wares were primarily for large enteprises. Bringing them into the "Express" realm makes them available and theoretically more palatable to smaller companies. IBM did not provide pricing.

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