Making Macs into Internet Servers

Joel M. Snyder

Public domain and shareware Internet information-server software has been available for some time; the announcement of several commercial offerings and a bundled server from Apple indicate that the Mac is coming of age for businesses that want to create a presence on the Internet.

Delphic has the most ambitious design; its software, ALI Internet Server ($995 to $1995 list), will combine more than eight Internet server functions--including some never before available on the Mac. When it is released in the third quarter of 1995, ALI will include domain name system (DNS), simple mail transport protocol (SMTP), network news transfer protocol (NNTP), post office protocol (POP3), Gopher, World Wide Web HyperText Transfer Protocol (WWW HTTP), and Finger server software, plus mailing-list manager software--all the tools needed to build a complete, self-contained corporate Internet server and gateway, in one package.

InterCon Systems' InterServer ($795 list), due to ship in June, will offer WWW HTTP, Gopher, and FTP services. InterServer lets Web clients access HyperText Markup Language (HTML) files, applications, and AppleScript functions running on the Mac server.

StarNine Technologies is building on its E-mail expertise by offering WebStar (formerly MacHTTP, a noncommercial HTTP server developed by BIAP Systems). Scheduled to ship in May, WebStar will cost $269 until July 20, when it will cost $795. It will include FTP and Gopher. In June, StarNine expects to ship two add-on WebStar products--the Commerce Toolkit, for electronic commerce support, and Security Toolkit, for client-server communications--and ListStar ($295 for LAN E-Mail, $795 for SMTP), an E-mail list-management and information-dissemination tool formerly called EMail-On-Demand.

Maxum Development already offers two WebStar add-on applications: NetCloak and NetForms (each costs $500 per server). NetCloak lets you control how your Web page looks to different users based on criteria such as browser type, password, and time of day. NetForms takes information that users enter in browser forms, formats it in HTML, and publishes it on the server, adding extras like hypertext and navigational links.

Apple is bundling the software for setting up a Web site--including WebStar; a one-user license for Netscape Communications' Netscape; AppleSearch; BBEdit, an HTML editor from BareBones Software; and Adobe Acrobat Pro--with configurations of the Apple Workgroup Server. The bundled product, called the Apple Internet Server Solution for the World Wide Web, is scheduled to ship in May; the company's estimated prices range from $2909 to $8209.

Apple, 408/ 996-1010; Delphic, 909/ 792-7932; InterCon, 703/ 709-5500; Maxum, 708/608-9440; StarNine, 510/ 649-4949.

July 1995, page: 138
Copyright © 1995 Macworld Communications, Inc.