Director of Technical Services, Baka Industries Inc.
StarNine Technologies has stepped into the limelight of Macintosh-based Internet server software with its announcement at the Mactivity conference this week of plans to market new versions of the MacHTTP Web server software as WebSTAR and WebSTAR Pro. These WWW server products will join StarNine’s email gateway software and related products in the Internet-oriented StarNine family.
The partnership between StarNine and BIAP Systems, founded by MacHTTP author Chuck Shotton, will bring improved options to people setting up Internet server software on Macintoshes. WebSTAR will take advantage of Apple’s Thread Manager to permit smoother handling of many simultaneous tasks, and a future version will support Apple’s upcoming Open Transport networking framework and its new TCP/IP implementation. The new software will offer 68000 and PowerPC versions, and has a variety of other enhancements over the existing MacHTTP software. StarNine says a Mac-based WebSTAR server will easily handle "hundreds of thousands of WWW transactions a day."
WebSTAR Pro will offer the same features as WebSTAR, but will also support electronic payment exchanges using the First Virtual Internet Payment System, and secure connections between client and server using Netscape Communications Corporation’s Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL). First Virtual has created a secure means of transacting business on the Internet without requiring credit card information be sent across the net. Small merchants can maintain a presence on the net without even having to arrange to accept credit cards themselves; an example is a small Ithaca-based fiction publisher called Aether Press.
The pair of World-Wide Web servers will offer an alternative to Unix-based HTTP server software (including Netscape’s Netsite package), providing easier administration and operation without sacrificing performance or functionality. Pricing has not yet been announced for the servers, which are scheduled for release by the end of April.
Meanwhile, StarNine is changing the name of its upcoming EMail-on-Demand mailing list server software to MailSTAR (see TidBITS-258). MailSTAR provides Mac-based LISTSERV-style mailing list capabilities and rules-based "mailbot" features. StarNine plans to offer a bundle of WebSTAR and MailSTAR – plus FTP and Gopher server software – in a combined package called OmniSTAR.