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Software keeps apps up to date

An Australian firm will release software that updates applications on users' desktops, using intranet technology to make sure all users have the right software version.

An Australian firm will release software next month that updates applications on users' desktops, using intranet technology to help corporations make sure all users have the right version of a software package.

Since April, Open Software Associates has been shipping the 1.1 version of its software, which handles some functions of hot Java start-up Marimba's Castanet product, announced last week. A new version is due within a month.

"OpenWeb netDeploy provides the ability to deploy applications via the Internet and do ongoing version management," OSA President Graham Greenhill said. It can be used on enterprise intranets and "extranets" that include business partners.

Unlike Marimba's Castanet, OpenWeb can deliver applications through any HTTP server on Windows, Unix, and OS/2, not just Java applets. Castanet is designed to deliver content over the Net as well.

OpenWeb's client-only software can deliver updates to any part of a user's hard drive, not just a designated area of its cache. That feature is designed to appeal to corporate computer managers with complex applications to deliver to large numbers of users.

The next version of OpenWeb will add features that can download only component software needed by the client. Future versions will add authentication so users can verify that components downloaded come from legitimate sources.

The current version of OpenWeb is now shipped by Open Environment as Entera Internet Launcher. Another partner deal is due within a month.