Novell will no longer sell its own branded version of Suse Linux Open-Xchange Server from next year. Instead, it will provide support to Netline's version.

Netline, which created the baseline technology on which Suse Linux Open-Xchange Server is based, will release the next version of the commercial product at the start of next year.

Netline CEO Frank Hoberg said Suse Linux didn't have the global support and services infrastructure to fully back the Suse-branded product. He added that Novell's acquisition of Suse last year hadn't resolved the support issue until now.

The deal will see Novell provide first and second-level support to customers, with Netline supplying third-level support, Hoberg said. "With this announcement, it's possible to get standards-based support all over the world," he said.

Netline's Open-Xchange Server is also being integrated into Novell's DeveloperNet program, which will provide Netline with Novell code so that the products from both companies can be more tightly integrated.

A Novell spokesman said the company had licensed Netline's Open-Xchange Server technology in the past as a basis for the former Suse product. The move to drop its own version was made as part of an ongoing product review, he said.

In August, Netline contributed the code for Open-Xchange Server to the open-source community under the GNU General Public License. It is a modular, standards-based, open-source application that allows users to run Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express clients on a Linux infrastructure. It provides groupware functions, including e-mail, calendaring, contacts, tasks and real-time document storage.