Pictorius Inc. announced the first release of their free Pictorius Net Servers (formerly Entrada! Net Servers) for Macintosh. Available for both 68K and PowerMacs, the first release includes: a fully-threaded, full service Web (http) server; native Open Transport support for maximum performance and unrestricted simultaneous users; full support for CGIs and ACGIs; 14 Agents which provide the functions of CGIs but are fully integrated into the servers for better performance; multi-homing support for multiple domain names on one machine; and security features, including: prohibiting access by domain name or IP address; configuring user groups; and changing user access control without restarting.
Pictorius will be adding new servers including Mail (SMTP and POP3), FTP, Finger, DNS, News, List and features, such as database connectivity and Ssl v3.0 support, regularly over the next few months. All servers are available free of charge and can be downloaded from the Pictorius web site (www.pictorius.com). Pictorius will be making the complete source code to the Net Servers available with Pictorius Net Builder, a product for those wanting to create custom Inter/intranet applications and dynamic web sites.
Webmasters and System Administrators, with little configuration, will soon be able to quickly and easily switch from several resource-intensive server applications to the single Pictorius Net Servers application. The Pictorius Net Servers can be used as the base platform on which to run net-based applications without the overhead associated with independent servers, CGIs and plug-ins.
Pictorius Net Servers Agents replace the need for CGIs by providing specific Internet and intranet functionality. Agents are easier to build than a CGI Script and existing agents can be added, removed and configured without restarting the server. The most popular Agents are supplied including: image mapping, text/graphic counters, date & time and others (a complete list, with descriptions, is attached below). Pictorius Net Servers also offer full support for existing and new CGIs and ACGIs.
Because they are compiled directly into the server application, and do not run as external applications, Agents offer better performance and seamless integration with the server. All agents can be edited with a specific start and stop date. This means that users can specify a date for the agent to become active and/or a date for it to become inactive. Agents extend server functionality with easy-to-use dialog boxes that allow users to add custom, dynamic content to their Web pages.
Pictorius Net Servers contain layers of object-oriented code for functions that are consistent across the servers such as security, preferences, logging and threading. This means lower overhead and reduced administration. The end result is low profile, robust servers with powerful built-in functionality.
System Requirements Pictorius Net Servers require a 68030 or higher Macintosh computer, Open Transport version 1.1 and System 7.5.3 (with Thread Manager installed). A complete installation of the Pictorius Net Servers will require 6.5 MB disk space for full install, including online documentation and requires a minimum of 8 MB RAM to run.
Pictorius Net Server Agents List
Pictorius Net Servers Agents are similar in function to CGIs, but are compiled directly into the server application for better performance and ease of use. Agents extend server functionality with easy-to-use dialogs that let users add custom, dynamic content to their Web pages. Following is a list of the Agents included with Pictorius Net Servers:
Date Agent - Returns the current date. Allows administrator to specify exactly how to build the date string using pop-ups.
Time Agent - Returns the current time. Allows administrator to specify exactly how to build the time string using pop-ups.
Countdown Agent - Returns the amount remaining until a certain event/date occurs. For example, there are xx number of days until Christmas.
Time of Day Agent - Returns a string appropriate to the time of day such as "Good Morning". Allows administrator to specify different strings to return at different times.
Image Counter Agent - Keeps a running count of hits to a web page and returns a GIF or JPEG picture of the count. Allows administrator to specify the type of picture and number of digits to return as well as to paste in pictures for the number 0 - 9 that will be used to generate the image.
Text Counter Agent - Keeps a running count of hits to a web page and returns a string with the count. Allows administrator to specify the number of digits to return.
Imagemap Agent - Like a traditional imagemap CGI, goes to a URL when a portion of an image is clicked on. Allows administrator to load an image and graphically assign rectangles, circles, and points URLs.
Environment Agent - Returns a user environment variable such as User Name, browser type or host address.
Random Agent - Returns different HTML text based on odds specified by the administrator. Allows administrator to enter or paste in HTML and enter percentages. For example, a contest is being run by the administrator. The individuals browsing this Web site and playing the contest will click a box labeled "Clues." Each time this is done this agent returns HTML text based on the percentages specified.
Redirect Agent - Redirects user to different URLs based on their browser type. Allows administrator to use wildcards to detect browser types.
Form to File Agent - Allows elements of a form and environment variables to be appended to a file. Useful for adding an on-line bulletin board or creating a file that will later be imported into a database. Allows administrator to build a template and specify where form parameters and environment variables should be inserted. For example, a form is on a Web page for those who wish to have a free sample product sent to them. The first field they enter information into is their name; (parameter 1), the second their address; (parameter 2), and the third their e-mail address; (parameter 3). Each time the form is submitted the information for the name, address, and e-mail address fields (Parameters 1, 2, and 3) are retrieved into a file which may then be input into a database or other storage systems. The field parameters may be in whatever order is required by the database or other storage device; i.e. Parameter 3 can be before Parameter 1.
HTML Agent - Returns text to a Web page. This agent allows an administrator to use text repeatedly by referring to one agent. Should this text ever need editing, the agent would be opened, edited, the Server updated, and all entries of this text updated accordingly. For example, a company's address may be mentioned on several Web pages. If the address changed, the appropriate HTML Agent text need only be edited, and all instances to it would be updated.
HTML Page Alias Agent - Is a convenient way of providing an alternate description of an HTML Address reference. For example, if your company's web pages provided an easy mechanism to return to the home page, then changing the location or name of your home page would necessitate a change in every document containing a reference to it. With the HTML Alias Agent, all you do is create a separate file, which is the target of the reference, and place within it the HTML Alias Agent metatag. The reference provides a link to the metatag and the agent itself provides the link back to the home page. With this mechanism you have a method by which you can change multiple links from one central, easily updated location.
HTML File Agent - Returns a file to a Web page. This agent allows an administrator to use an HTML file repeatedly by referring only to the agent. Returning a file through an agent saves duplication time that could occur in creating the file again on another Web page or site. It also saves editing time should the file require changes. Since the agent refers to a specific file in a predetermined location, editing the file would edit the Web page or site. The file must be of HTML type.
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