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Netscape preps server update

A major revision of Netscape's Web server will show up on the Net this week.

A major revision of Netscape's (NSCP) Web server will show up on the Net later this week.

The company announced today that it is close to releasing the beta version of Enterprise 3.0, a new edition of its Web server that makes it easier to manage and publish Web pages. The product will also be the first server from Netscape to support the Internet InterOrb Protocol (IIOP), a significant technology that promises to make Netscape's Web server work better with corporate legacy applications.

First announced in October, Enterprise 3.0 is the centerpiece of Netscape's server offerings and a key part of its battle with Microsoft and Lotus Development for control of the corporate intranet market. Netscape has worked especially hard to refine its Web server so that it is easier to keep Web sites in order.

Netscape has added a revision control manager designed by Mortice Kern Systems to Enterprise 3.0, a feature that helps users keep track of different versions of the same Web page. The feature will help manage sites that are constantly being updated with new information. The server will also reduce the number of steps required to publish Web pages, allowing users to post new pages by simply pushing a button.

The server also includes these new features:

  • Access controls that let managers define which users can view certain Web pages. The access controls can be set up using Netscape's LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol) server, a program that includes listings of all the users connected to a corporate network or the Internet.

  • Agent software that notifies users via email when a Web page on Enterprise 3.0 has been modified.

  • Native connectivity to Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and databases from other companies.

    Enterprise will also support the IIOP protocol through Visigenic's Visibroker for Java and C++ object request broker. Independent developers will be able to use IIOP to tie a variety of existing corporate applications into the Netscape Web server. According to Netscape officials, the protocol will allow companies to preserve their current investments in programming.

    "IT organizations have a lot of code invested in Cobol and CICS applications," said Basil Hashem, senior product manager at Netscape.

    Enterprise 3.0 will sell for as a standalone server for $995 or as part of the SuiteSpot 3.0 family of servers for $3,995.