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Novell Inc is licensing Poet Software’s Universal Object server under a new strategic agreement to enhance its Internet and intranet capabilities. Only last month, the San Mateo, California-based Poet pinched Michael Hogan, Novell’s director of business development, as vice president of business development, and at that time, Poet said it was keen to develop partnerships with other vendors. Hogan seems to have put his old contacts to good use, but the Novell connection goes back a good few years. The German company, Poet Software GmbH (Persistent Objects Extended Technology), was established by co-founders Jochen Witte and Dirk Bartels in 1993. They specialized in PC object oriented database systems across a wide range of operating systems including Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, Unix, OS/2 and the Macintosh, and Poet sits on several software decision-making bodies including the ODMG and Germany’s Society for Information Sciences. Novell recently cemented the relationship when it took a $6.5m stake in Poet, joining other venture backers like Sigma Partners, El Dorado Ventures, Atlas Ventures, Innovacom and Technologie Holding. Poet’s Universal Object Server, unlike Oracle’s denuded, Sedona-less server, provides an object database and a raft of new tools to support diverse data types like video, audio and HTML, and it uses standards like Java, ODMG and CORBA. Novell chose not to take the virtually object-free Oracle 8 route, but it does have significant agreements with Oracle, and Poet provides the missing, essential connectivity to relational databases. Novell plans to deploy the Server across a range of products to be introduced over the next several quarters, and one of the key advantage of Poet, says Novell, is the tool that maps objects from object-oriented development models into relational data stores. This enables developers to interface with relational systems within object-oriented environments , without writing or rewriting SQL code.

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