3Com Corp may think that intranets are just a fad (CI No 2,952), but Apple Computer Inc is betting that they are here to stay. Speaking at last month’s Mactivity trade show, Larry Tesler, vice-president of AppleNet, the company’s Internet development group, said that Apple is now recommending intranets as the network architecture for enterprise […]
3Com Corp may think that intranets are just a fad (CI No 2,952), but Apple Computer Inc is betting that they are here to stay. Speaking at last month’s Mactivity trade show, Larry Tesler, vice-president of AppleNet, the company’s Internet development group, said that Apple is now recommending intranets as the network architecture for enterprise networks that include Macintosh computers. Apple used the show to highlight a number of initiatives in the intranet-Internet and networking fields, which it hopes will help it on the path to recovery: to ease the use of intranets, Apple is proposing that a new open standard, dubbed the Meta Content Format, be adopted: the proposed standard is designed to enable users to browse, query, or view data from a single software package, regardless of whether it is a text file, Web page or database. The company also previewed a new technology expected to be included with version 1.1 of the company’s Cyberdog Internet software suite when it is launched this fall. The feature, said to be ideally suited for mixed TCP/IP and AppleTalk environments, is designed to let users browse AppleTalk networks and save items including Zones and AppleShare files as Cyberitems. Under a new licensing deal, Farallon Communications Inc’s Timbuktu Pro will be included as part of the next release of Apple’s QuickTime Conferencing Kit, and Farallon’s Look@Me applet and Web browser plug-in will form part of the Apple Internet Connection Kit, version 1.2. ProjectX is a new data-independent viewer developed by Apple’s Advanced Research Laboratories: two versions were demonstrated, one of which provides a three-dimensional information navigation system, while the second is a two-dimensional version simil ar to the Apple Finder interface. Apple also demonstrated a new Mac OS asynchronous Common Gateway Interface designed to replace such technologies as the File Transfer Protocol and Gopher, which is claimed to enable documents to be distributed via the Web. Called NetFinder, it is based around Apple’s Desktop folder structure and is aimed at applications including the distribution of software and product documentation. Emphasizing its commitment to open standards, Apple also renewed its commitment to supporting TCP/IP within the Mac OS: TCP/IP has now been established as a an equal peer to AppleTalk through the introduction of Open Transport in System 7.5 Version 7.5.3 and further down the track the company has committed itself to integrating TCP/IP with its remote access product line. Moving into new territory, Apple announced the launch of an Asynchronous Transfer Mode Application Jump Start Program designed to encourage developers to produce ATM-based systems integrated with the Mac. Costing $7,500, the kit includes a development license to Apple ATM Middleware; a Whitetree Inc WS3000 ATM/Ethernet workgroup switch; two Peripheral Component Inter-connect ATM25 boards and support from Apple’s ATM Engineering Team.