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ChiliSoft lets Netscape run ActiveX

ChiliSoft technology allows Microsoft's Active Server Pages software to run on Netscape's Web servers.

ChiliSoft is readying a Netscape Communications-friendly clone of Microsoft's Active Server Pages software, allowing developers to write a single application that can run on Web servers from each company.

The software, code-named ActiveDave, will enter beta testing by week's end and is expected to ship next month, according to Charles Crystle, president of ChiliSoft, a tiny Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based software toolmaker.

The idea behind ActiveDave is to allow developers who develop applications that use Microsoft's Active Server Pages scripting software to move their applications, without the need for changes, to Netscape's FastTrack and Enterprise server software. Effectively, ActiveDave prevents developers from being locked in with Microsoft's Web server software.

Active Server Pages, which was code-named Denali while under development, is part of Microsoft's Internet Information Server 3.0 Web server. It lets developers combine HTML code, ActiveX components, CGI scripts, and other software to create server-based applications. Active Server Pages applications can be developed using tools such as Microsoft's Visual InterDev.

ChiliSoft's Crystle said ActiveDave will initially support any Web server that's compatible with Netscape Server Application Programming Interface and will also support all Internet Server API servers later this year. He added the company may consider licensing the software to other vendors.

Developers now can build Web server applications in Java that will run on either Microsoft or Netscape Web servers, but moving those applications between servers requires recoding. Crystle said no recoding is necessary with ActiveDave.

ChiliSoft has not announced pricing for ActiveDave. Crystle said the software will be priced per server without client license fees.