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Netscape News

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Corporations, large and small, are rapidly deploying Internet technology as the universal networking infrastructure for internal and external communications. Clear business benefits fuel this phenomenon, which in turn delivers substantial returns. By using a single open architecture inside and out, forward-thinking companies streamline IT processes, drastically reduce training costs, and ensure scalability to millions of users. Netscape News Server is a collaborative discussion-group software server based on this important new architecture.

Netscape News Server provides the foundation for corporations to establish collaborative forums in intranet and Internet information exchange. By deploying Netscape News Server, companies can easily and safely conduct discussions internally or with outside partners and customers.

Netscape News Server 2.01 provides the Internet-based architecture for companies to enable information sharing, workgroup discussions, and server-to-server replication of mission-critical information. Integrated with Netscape SuiteSpot, Netscape News Server provides superior access control mechanisms, performance, scalability, and encrypted remote administration. Companies are able to deploy and manage the discussion group solutions that best address their business requirements.

With Netscape News Server, users can create electronic discussion groups enabling people to participate in remote dialogs by posting and reading messages about topics of interest. Discussion groups support multiple conversations, or threads, on a given subject, displaying postings in the context of the prior discussion. As a result, readers can follow an entire discussion right from its inception, even if they join well after the discussion has started.

Organizations can use Netscape News Server to improve internal communication with selected partners and customers outside the organization. Online publications and merchants can develop communities of interest around their products and services on the Internet. An online sales force can discuss product features and benefits with potential customers. Marketing departments can review new advertising campaigns and guide the work of an external agency. Companies can deploy online electronic support forums to reduce the support costs associated with their products.

Integrated with Netscape SuiteSpot, Netscape News Server provides a single administrative console by which to manage itself and other Netscape SuiteSpot servers. Because of the unified management console, your costs of ownership and training time are significantly reduced. With frames-based navigation and JavaScript verification of administrative parameters, you are able to leverage the capabilities of Netscape Navigator to manage Netscape News Server from a Macintosh, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, or Unix-based client.

Netscape News Server also provides logging tools and shares a common user database with other Netscape SuiteSpot servers, so you can capture all the information necessary to perform capacity planning, server status checks, and resource budgeting while simplifying administration of your users.

You can use the Access Control Lists (ACL) supplied by the server to create private discussion groups and restrict access to certain users or groups of users. This configuration is ideal for implementing online customer product support or inter-enterprise collaboration. Alternatively, you can create public forums with unrestricted access within your intranet or create a semipublic environment where you maintain both open forums and restricted-access discussion groups.

By using ACLs with Netscape News Server, you can deploy the workgroup solution that best matches your business communications strategy.

Netscape News Server 2.01 provides dramatic architectural improvements over previous versions of the server. The server now supports multithreading to provide greater scalability and faster performance than the previous release. Threads let you take advantage of the latest multiprocessor systems, which provide unparalleled scalability.

Also, because Netscape News Server supports the latest technology for moving data between servers, discussion group replication is twice as fast as before. As your collaboration needs grow, Netscape News Server will scale to meet your business requirements.

Netscape News Server is managed from anywhere in your TCP/IP network. Netscape Navigator provides the intuitive front end to all your administrative tasks. After a power failure, you can even recover a Netscape News Server from across the network, a capability that dramatically facilitates centralized maintenance of distributed servers.

Netscape News Server supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 3.0 technology and encrypts your communication from Netscape Navigator when administrating the system or when communicating to restricted newsgroups.


  • With a server-user interface based on HTML forms, provides point-and-click server installation, configuration, and maintenance from a wide variety of computers on the network.

  • Includes extensive online documentation and real-time context-sensitive help.

  • Shares user database information with Enterprise or FastTrack Servers.

  • Is managed from a single administration console through Netscape Navigator.

  • Includes extensive logging and event-monitoring user connections and replication procedures.

  • Supports Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) over TCP/IP networks.

  • Accepts/sends news feeds to any Usenet-compatible news server.

  • Provides encrypted communication with SSL-enabled news readers.

  • Supports rich content postings, including MIME, HTML, GIF, and JPEG.

  • Support for public, private, or semiprivate configurations

Through the use of Access Control Lists, Netscape News Server can be configured into one of the following systems:
  • Private discussions group server. The system contains multiple encrypted and password-activated newsgroups, which may or may not replicate groups internally.

  • Public discussions group server. The system contains nonencrypted, nonrestricted discussion groups, which may or may not replicate groups internally or externally.

  • Semipublic discussions group server. The system contains both public (nonencrypted/restricted) and private (encrypted/restricted) discussion groups and may or may not replicate groups internally or externally.

  • Implements a threaded architecture on both Windows NT and Unix to create a solution that dramatically increases the scalability of the system by handling incoming connections more efficiently.

  • Implements a shared common memory architecture between threads, thereby increasing the efficiency of process execution while reducing the storage requirements of the discussion group data.

  • Controls access to individual discussion groups through:
    • Username and password pairs,
    • IP addresses, and/or
    • DNS-based variables such as the user's domain name.

  • Supports administration of users, groups, and discussion groups for better granularity of access restrictions.

  • Optionally sets an administrative switch to challenge all initial connections by requiring a login, a feature that further enhances the system's integrity.

  • Executes NNTP over the SSL protocol, enabling:
    • Communications encryption between client and server,
    • Server authentication between servers, and
    • Message integrity to prevent information loss or alteration between the client and server.

  • Requires a signed public-key certificate (based on an open ITU standard, X.509) from a certificate authority to enable SSL services.

  • Supports RFC 977 for full or selective replication of discussion groups between servers.

  • Supports extensions to standard models for replication (for example, streaming feeds) and consequently offers greater replication speeds than the previous version of Netscape News Server.

  • Implements administrative controls for frequency of replication, quantity of discussion groups to be replicated, and even duration that a discussion groups' articles will exist.

  • Uses Netscape Navigator (or any forms-enabled Web browser) to administrate multiple news services over TCP/IP networks.

  • Includes a system recovery switch to enable remote system recoveries in the event of a power outage or similar catastrophe.

  • The server provides common architectural support for both Windows NT and Unix.

  • Newsgroups can be moved from one platform to allow maximum flexibility in deployment.

  • The server manages either or both platforms from a single administrative console.