Using a bridging technology, SCO will expand its file sharing software to the Internet instead of simply allowing data sharing on Microsoft Windows and Unix servers.
Using Microsoft's Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocol as well as the Server Messaging Block (SMB) technology currently built into Windows, SCO VisionFS file sharing software now lets users access information on Unix servers over the Internet as if the server was on their own local area network. That feature is particularly useful as large corporations roll out intranets and want to include branch offices in their strategy.
CIFS is a protocol standard being pushed by Microsoft that extends the capabilities of HTTP and gives any client access to files on any server through a Web browser. Sun Microsystems offers a competing protocol called WebNFS, which is an extension of the current Network File System (NFS) set of protocols.
A demonstration of the new capabilities in SCO VisionFS, originally announced in August, is available at the CIFS Web site.
SCO VisionFS is available on Sun Solaris and SunOS, Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX, IBM's AIX, Digital Equipment's Digital Unix, and the SCO UnixWare and OpenServer operating systems. Prices for VisionFS start at $135 for a single user license.