The Content Engine and Application Engine have been built upon J2EE Application servers for a few years, so have supported different platforms, but up to this point, the Process Engine has only been supported by Unix and Windows. It’s not difficult to see why; although the PE is deployed as a Java application, this only serves as a wrapper around an executable written in ‘C’, presumably the two communicate over RPC. It actually originates from the legacy days of Image Services.
In v5, the PE has had a bit of an overhaul, and has been ported to a true native Java application – and with it, support for Linux. It hasn’t joined the CE & AE as a J2EE implementation, but maybe this will come in a future release.
I should state up front that as a solution implementer, I do tend to rely quite a lot on virtualised single-server systems, be it for Demonstrations, proofs of concept, or a straight forward development environment. So I have to rely on a single platform, which has so far been Windows. Now I feel there is an alternative.
As well as being industrial strength, Linux has the big advantage of being free. Yes, Novell SUSE and Red Hat Linux do charge a licence fee, but CentOS is free and uses the same binary code base as RHEL, and is indistinguishable.
Of course, there is a caveat – there always is. It would have been nice if all administrative tasks could have been carried out within the same server. FileNet have introduced the Administrative Console for Content Engine, and there was initial anticipation that this would be a web-based alternative to the FileNet Enterprise Manager. After closer scrutiny however, it’s pretty clear that quite a few features are still missing, so it’s not yet a contender, but maybe soon… Still, any admin can be performed from a remote machine.