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WWDC: Mac OS X Server Leopard adds wiki, Podcast Producer features

Apple has announced new features of Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard. Due in October, Leopard Server is the most significant improvement to the server operating system since Mac OS X Server was launched, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

Apple has announced new features of Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard. Due in October, Leopard Server is the most significant improvement to the server operating system since Mac OS X Server was launched, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

It introduces features such as a wiki server, making it easy to connect groups over a shared intranet; Podcast Producer, a way to automatically produce and publish podcasts to iTunes or a blog; and Spotlight Server to find content stored on other servers. Leopard Server also includes the new iCal Server, based on the CalDAV open standard that works with Leopard’s new iCal application.

Small businesses and workgroups without an IT department can take advantage of Leopard Server’s ability to automatically configure Leopard clients for use on the server, including file sharing, Mail, iCal, iChat, Address Book and VPN. Leopard Server also includes a new setup interface with a built-in Network Health Check, a new Server Preferences application and a server status Dashboard widget.

With the wiki server, groups can create and edit collaborative web pages, called wikis, with a few clicks of a mouse. The wiki server also maintains a complete history to restore previous entries and merge or compare different versions. With Podcast Producer you can record content, automatically upload it to the server and convert it into a podcast. Using Xgrid, Podcast Producer can leverage Macs on the network to encode the video, and the podcast can then be delivered over the Internet to a blog, iTunes, or even to multimedia enabled mobile phones over high speed wireless networks using QuickTime Streaming Server.

Schiller says that Apple has made scheduling across different calendar programs simple with iCal Server to coordinate events, schedule meetings and track time more effectively. iCal Server uses the open CalDAV standard for integration with leading calendar programs, including iCal 3 in Leopard, Mozilla’s Sunbird and OSAF’s Chandler. In addition, Apple's Directory lets you search for people in an organization and view their contact information, picture, colleagues, groups and even see a location map.

Spotlight Server is designed for workgroups with shared documents, projects and files and delivers search results of content stored on mounted network volumes. Content indexing is done automatically and transparently on the server. Leopard Server’s core services include Apache 2, MySQL 5, Postfix, Cyrus, Podcast Producer and QuickTime Streaming Server — all are 64-bi. Since Leopard Server is fully 32-bit compatible, users can run 32-bit and 64-bit applications natively side-by-side. Leopard Server is also optimized to take full advantage of Intel’s latest multi-core processors.

Other new features in Leopard Server include:

Server Admin 4 with new file sharing and permission controls, tiered administration, and options for organizing servers into smart groups;

iChat Server 2 to securely communicate over instant messaging with others on different systems outside an organization’s firewall;

External Accounts to enable Leopard users to store their home directory on an external FireWire or USB portable drive;

A new System Imaging Utility that uses a workflow-based editor to create customized images that can include Boot Camp partitions;

Xgrid 2 featuring GridAnywhere for ad hoc distributed computing in environments without dedicated controllers, and Scoreboard for prioritizing job distribution to the fastest available CPU; and

QuickTime Streaming Server 6 with support for 3GPP Release 6 bit rate adaptation for smooth streaming when delivering content to mobile phones regardless of network congestion.

Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard is scheduled to ship in October and will be available through the Apple Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499 for a 10-client edition and $999 for an unlimited-client edition.

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