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An Inside Look at AppleShare IP 6.3

AppleShare IP 6.3, the previously rumored upgrade to Apple's suite of LAN and Internet services, has officially been confirmed. The new version is said to provide a new integrated administration system, called Mac OS Server Admin, among other things.

Mac OS Server Admin, which goes by the code name "RAdmin," removes the Open Doc dependencies in previous AppleShare IP administration applications. The new application, which manages Web, File, Mail, and Users & Groups, can operate multiple servers simultaneously and can be run remotely as well as locally, according to sources.

The new Mac OS Server Admin architecture will provide a client-server plug-in framework. Modules for each administration activity, i.e. Web service, File Service, Users & Groups, will be available for the client and server machines. Additionally, when an administrator logs into Mac OS Server Admin, the necessary client modules will be downloaded from the server machine via a secure method, allowing for administration from any remote machine.

RAdmin Logo Screenshot

The AppleShare IP Manager and Web & File Facade functionality have also been rolled into Mac OS Server Admin, sources said. In the new version, administrators can also get system information, such as AppleShare IP version, IP address, DNS name, etc. from the Mac OS Server Admin. AppleShare Client 3.8.4, which will be bundled with AppleShare IP 6.3, will include enhanced keychain integration and a new startup mounting feature.

The AppleShare IP 6.3 release will also be fully compatible with the upcoming Mac OS release, code named Sonata, and will register with Network Services Location (NSL). For those that don't know, NSL is a new feature in Sonata that will allow for browsing of TCP/IP services. Furthermore, version 6.3 will provide dozens of necessary bug fixes and other smaller feature enhancements to the current version of AppleShare IP.

Finally European language support for Windows-based web browsers will be added in the AppleShare IP 6.3 web-based Remote Admin, sources said. The AppleShare IP 6.3 release is currently in alpha version 3 and should hit the streets sometime much later this Fall. No word from Apple on whether the release will arrive at a cost to customers.