home:  FAQ


Freequently asked questions about iVision information technologies are catogerised into three parts.

About Website

+   Why a website

Your website could reflect your companies image as presented in other media. You can present your company profile or have a corporate presentation , adding three-D effects or motion including audio & video effects without increasing your cost. The website will give you unlimited commercial opportunity. It is a site for information exchange vast array of services and resources online .Website is the information super-highway where people can exchange information at a faster pace.

How do people know I have a website

The web is a complex jumble of documents in which you will never find the information for which you are looking without help. A variety of search tools scour the web, like (AOL's Webcrawler, YAHOO!, and Alta Vista) which helps in finding an information. You can use these huge databases using keywords that describe what you are looking for and the search tool returns a list of matching URLs. Proper registration and placement with them are an essential starting point. There are 100's of search engines and directories, many of them specifically targeted to an industry - such as cars or insurance. Advertising can be purchased in banner format for broader reach, bringing traffic to your site from a related site. It is generally also recommended that you put your website and email addresses on every form of communication you have with your customers, including business cards, letterhead, brochures and advertising.

What is DNS or Domain Name System

Domain Name System is an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Domain names are alphabetic and hence easy to remember rather than the IP address which will be be . The domain name is divided into 3 parts user computer name, the mid -level domain and the top level domain. The top level domains are com, edu, org, mil,net, gov controlled in the United states.

Can I update my website periodically

Of course! . Things change in a heart-beat on the internet, and the best advertising is based on repetition. Your site should be continually freshened, offering new information or specials as well as incorporating new technology as it explodes. Customers who are interested, but not immediately motivated to buy, should have a reason to come back when they are ready. If you want to take your changes in-house, there are various methods for doing that, as well, depending upon your business's hardware and personnel.

Can I keep track of the visitors to my site

If you already have a website on a different host server, you can get some numbers through counters and cookies and custom programming. you will automatically can check the statistics at your convenience by visiting your own "stats" page. We will advise you of much more than your total number of "hits". The information gathered can tell us which technology levels are good for your visitors, what time of day and week is strongest, and whether we are succeeding in leading guests through your system to the final sale or contact point - what attracts them, and where we may be losing them.

How to get email - ID on the website

E-mail addresses can set up on the server for you at your direction. There is a simple set-up procedure at the receiving end, as well. To set-up any one machine and dial-up connection to receive more than 1 or 2 separate email addresses typically requires either instructions or special software. A standard website with a domain name registered allows up to 20 aliases for mail @yourdomain.com

How do I market with my website

Your market will be aiming for you, and your webmaster's job is to make you easy to find.You absolutely must determine your target market in order to expect the best results. Because of the enormity of the World Wide Web, search engines and directories are an essential part of getting around - they are the road map and transportation system that netizens use to transport them where they want to be. The manner of their indexing is dynamic, and both visible and invisible content are used to determine when the searcher is looking for what your website actually provides.

How much will it cost to make a website

e-Mail to info@ivision.in for a basic price list.

About eCommerce

What is eCommerce

Electronic commerce (eCommerce) is the idea of doing business electronically over the Internet. No longer bound by time or geography, e-commerce provides store owners with ubiquitous access to their customers. This significantly expands a store owner's opportunity to satisfy demand for products, services, and information of each customer.Online purchasing is becoming as common and convenient as ordering by telephone or fax.

How does an online store work / How does a typical transaction at a retail store work

You select the items you wish to purchase and put them in your shopping cart. When you're ready to checkout, you take them to a sales clerk at the cash register where you are given the option to pay by cash, check or credit card. The cash register used to process your payment is actually referred to as a Point-of-Sale (POS terminal). The cash register (POS terminal) is connected to the retail store's bank processing network where the credit card and/or check is verified as valid either with available credit and/or a valid banking institution. You are then given a receipt and the transaction is complete. E-commerce services are very similar and operate just as stated above, only without a sales clerk. Just think of your computer as your sales staff. E-mail receipts are sent after a transaction is processed giving your customer an instantaneous online verification that the transaction was completed.

What are the benefits of an online store

  • Increase revenue
  • Low-cost/high-payback alternative to traditional physical store or mail-order catalog.
  • Avoid losing sales to competitors who are online
  • Immediate international sales presence
  • Shop 24 hrs/day, 365 days/year
  • Expand customer base
  • Set up shop anywhere, no need to re-locate
  • Low-cost way to turn your Web site into a profit center
  • Reduce phone cost due to customer support via email
  • Create customized mailing list

What makes a Successful Online Store

  • Easy-to-use
  • Appealing
  • Good customer service
  • Unsaturated market
  • Know who your competitors are

Will your online store be secure

Yes, because we use digital authentication services provided by either VeriSign, Inc. or Thawte to ensure that orders are secure. A Digital ID binds a company's identity to a digital key which can be used to conduct secure transactions.
The Secure Hypertext Transport Protocol (S-HTTP) is an extension of the Web protocol (HTTP) and adds security features to it. The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, originally introduced in Netscape 2.0, is a data encryption technique that allows for secure transactions across the Internet. This software will encrypt a customer's credit card and purchase information as it is sent over the Internet from the customer's Web browser to the Web server hosting the online store. The customer will know their connection is secure because the lock icon in the bottom left corner of their Web browser will be closed (locked) instead of open and the URL at the top of the browser will have https instead of http at the beginning.

What about shipping and taxes

Shipping and taxes can be defined according to each store owner's requirements and are calculated and added into the purchase amount for display to the consumer.

What about real-time payment

When transactions are authorized in real-time, the need for manual tracking of invalid credit card numbers is eliminated so less sales staff is needed. Sale proceeds from credit card transactions are automatically deposited electronically to the store owner's bank account.

About Server

What is FTP

FTP stands for file transfer protocol, which is a way to send files to server. Using FTP one can update files at a server. People who create webpages use FTP to move their files to the server from where they can be accessed by others. FTP requires client to log into an active FTP server to which commands are submitted. Most FTP servers on the internet accept a type of connection known as anonymous. FTP is mostly used to retrieve files from remote servers. You can also use FTP to send files to your ISP account or web server to provide access to friends and associates and more.

What is HTTP

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, an Internet protocol that enables the distribution of hypertext documents. Like other TCP/IP services, such as FTP, NNTP and SMTP, HTTP is a client/server protocol. HTTP's evolution is motivated by concern over its viability as the dominant Internet protocol and future pipeline for distributed object computing. Towards this end, the W3C [World Wide Web Committee] and IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force] are collaborating on HTTP/1.1. This upgrade addresses performance issues, state management (cookies), transparent content negotiation, universal time conventions, and PEP, a dynamic extension mechanism for HTTP -- all lacking in v1.0.

What is HTTPd

It stands for HTTP daemon. A daemon is a Unix background process that implements the server side of a protocol. For example, FTPd is the File Transfer Protocol daemon.HTTPd is the program you would run on a Unix platform to establish a web server. Daemons are unique to Unix (which some would call a demonic OS ;-). On other platforms, such as Microsoft Windows NT, the web server is a background process implemented as a system service.

What are error numbers like 400 & 402

HTTP Status Codes for error message are given below :
Error Messages
400 - Error in request syntax.
401 - Request requires an Authorization: field, and the client did not provide one. This response is accompanied by a list of acceptable authorization schemes use WWW-Authenticate response headers. Error 401 can be part of a client/server dialogue to negotiate encryption and user authentication schemes.
402 - The requested operation costs money, and the client did not specify a valid charge to field.
403 - Request for forbidden resource denied.
404 - Requested resource not found.
500 - The server has encountered an internal error and cannot continue processing your request.
501 - Request okay but denied because server doesn't support transaction method.

I have come across Telnet & Gopher, what are they

Telnet is the way to access other computers, assuming they have given permission, or technically speaking telnet is a user command and an underlying TCP/IP protocol for accessing remote computers. One can login as a regular user with available privileges granted to the specific applications and data on that computer.Gopher is a collection of articles, linked together via hyperlinks. Clicking an entry in a table of contents or a related article link will display the relavent article, even if it is on a server halfway across the world. Gopher technologies were the precursor of the web browser and world wide web.

What Server software is available for Microsoft Windows NT

Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), bundled with NT Server 4.0;
Netscape Enterprise Server and lightweight FastTrack Server; and WebSite from O'Reilly & Associates.

Is HTTP platform independent

Yes !! The authors of the World Wide Web took the credo of platform independence seriously. As a result, web servers can be set up on almost any computer, including (but not limited to) Windows 3.1, Apple Macintosh and PowerPC, IBM OS/2, Digital VAX/VMS, mainframes running MVS, and the Commodore Amiga (!).

What is Intranet & Extranet

Intranet is network within an enterprise, a technology that permits organizations to define itself as a whole entity. It consists of many interlinked local area networks and also uses leased lines in the wide-area network. The main purpose of intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees.
Intranet uses TCP/IP, HTTP and other Internet protocols and looks like a version of Internet. Intranet resides behind a firewall and is accessible only to people who are members of the same company or organization. Extranet provides various accessibility to outsiders. The users can access an extranet only if they have a valid username and password. Extranet is a collaborative network that uses internet technologies to link business with their suppliers, customers and businessmen who share common goals. Application of extranet include private news group.

What is CGI

CGI ( Common Gateway Interface ) is a first-generation Web technology that, because of its simplicity and universality, continues to have wide appeal for developing dynamic pages. Web sites implemented with CGI are relatively easy to port across HTTP software and platforms, because most web servers natively support CGI. In addition, many CGI programs are developed in Perl, a portable open-source scripting language with a large and growing library of cost-free modules and native database extensions. For these reasons CGI remains a reasonable choice for building lightly loaded or relatively static web sites.

On the downside, each invocation of a CGI program launches a separate process, making the technique slow, resource-intensive and non-scaleable. CGI itself provides no support for encryption, concurrency control, transaction integrity, or many other features associated with enterprise applications. CGI programs run slowly and gobble server resources, making them a poor choice for heavily loaded web sites. FastCGI is a better-performing extension of the original for which speedups of a factor of five have been reported. Version v1.5.2 of the Apache web server supports FastCGI.

What are Server Side Includes (SSI)

When you need to patch a small section of on-the-fly content into an otherwise static page, CGI is a heavy-handed solution. An alternative almost as widely supported as CGI is server-side includes (SSI), which allow you to "include" dynamic content into web pages using special HTML tags. Performance impact. Unlike standard HTML, which is parsed and rendered by a web browser after the page has been served, SSI tags are parsed on the server (hence, "server-side includes"). Finding and parsing these tags can slow server response, so webmasters typically specify which files contain SSI tags by using a unique file extension, such as .shtml or .shtm. This is done by adding a line to the MIME content type definition:Only files with this MIME type will be parsed by the server.

What is ASP

ASP is Microsoft's recommended technology for generation dynamic web pages. Only Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) and Personal Web Server (PWS) support ASP natively. A product called Chili!ASP from Chili!Soft can be installed to emulate ASP on other platforms.
Definition : An Active Server Page is a file with the extension .ASP that contains a combination of HTML statements and server-side script logic. Either JavaScript or VBScript can be used to compose Active Server Pages.

What is an Application Server

With regard to web applications, an application server is software that mediates between a web server and back-end systems such as databases or legacy applications. Requests from a client web browser are passed by the web server to the application server, which applies logic and communicates with back-end systems as necessary to compose an HTML response returned by the web server to the requesting browser. It also can be described as software that runs on a middle tier, between Web browser-based thin clients and back-end databases and business applications. Application servers handle all of the application logic and connectivity that old-style client-server applications contained. " (CNET News.com) Integrated development environments (IDE) are tools for building and hosting web-based applications capable of accessing back-end data stores.

Transaction application servers emphasize security, load balancing and transaction integrity, typically for e-commerce or extranet applications. Pricier than IDEs, this class includes Bluestone Sapphire/Web, Sun Microsystems NetDynamics, Netscape Application Server, and IBM WebSphere. Knowledge management servers stress process automation and integrated access to enterprise data and documents. KM platforms come from traditional document management vendors such as FileNet and Documentum, as well as newer entrants like Open Text Corporation.

Can you explain databases related to servers

Web applications are multi-tiered, so they use data access technologies familiar to designers of client/server systems:
native connectors
several techniques based on Microsoft OLE-DB.
(See the next question for more on these techniques.)
A web server can connect with these services via any of the application technologies described above, such as CGI or NSAPI. For example, a data-driven web application could consist of a CGI script written in oraperl, an open source Perl extension that enables direct manipulation of Oracle tables. A special consideration arises because HTTP is a stateless protocol; it sets up a new connection for each client request. To offset this performance-killing limitation web developers are forced to employ a number of workarounds such as connection pooling and result caching. Future versions of HTTP will probably support state, simplifying Internet application design.

How secure is the encryption used by SSL

SSL uses public-key encryption to exchange a session key between the client and server; this session key is used to encrypt the http transaction (both request and response). Each transaction uses a different session key so that if someone manages to decrypt a transaction, that does not mean that they've found the server's secret key; if they want to decrypt another transaction, they'll need to spend as much time and effort on the second transaction as they did on the first. Netscape servers and browsers do encryption using either a 40-bit secret key or a 128-bit secret key. Many people feel that using a 40-bit key is insecure because it's vulnerable to a "brute force" attack (trying each of the 2^40 possible keys until you find the one that decrypts the message).Using a 128-bit key eliminates this problem because there are 2^128 instead of 2^40 possible keys.Unfortunately, most Netscape users have browsers that support only 40-bit secret keys. This is because of legal restrictions on the encryption software that can be exported from the United States.

What is IIS

Internet Information Server -- High-end enterprise-level server for Windows NT platforms Microsoft has quickly made its Internet Information Server (IIS) into one of the best Web servers on the 'net. While only available for Windows NT, IIS has transformed the NT platform into a viable solution for deliver Web-based applications. No longer do Web administrators have to turn to UNIX platforms for fast and reliable Web servers; IIS is just as powerful and much easier to set up and maintain than many of its UNIX-based competitors. IIS brings together the integration of its own Web services with the Windows NT core system and networking capabilities and the distributed application infrastructure of Microsoft's Transaction Server 2.0. IIS is only available for the Server edition of Windows NT 4.0, but it is a free download as part of the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack. IIS 4.0 offers a superb platform for building sophisticated internet and intranet applications. The latest release is vastly superior to previous versions and fixes most if not all of the weaknesses of prior offerings. Beyond the core HTTP 1.1 services are a variety of tools including a Transaction Server (for building distributed applications), Index Server (indexing of HTML pages and MS Office documents), Certificate Server (managing digital certificates), Site Analyst (site management and usage), Internet Connection Services for Microsoft Remote Access Service (creation of Virtual Private Networks), Mail Server, and NNTP News Server. Of these tools the NNTP and SMTP support are the least impressive. NNTP support only works for internal newsgroups; Usenet news feeds are unsupported. The SMTP support enables you to develop applications that send and receive messages; however, POP support is not provided. IIS features include crash protection for reliability, transactional Active Server pages, support for Java (accomplished with Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine), script debugging, support for multiple Web sites, integrated search engine capabilities (create custom search forms with Active Server pages, ActiveX Data Objects, and SQL queries), content management and site analysis tools, automated management support, integrated message queuing, full standards compliance (including HTTP 1.1 for increased Internet performance), and an integrated certificate server (with special security enhancements for international banks using 128-bit encryption Server Gated Crypto technology). For Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation users, the NT 4.0 Option Pack also includes Microsoft's Personal Web Server 4.0 (PWS). PWS is a desktop Web server that makes it easy to publish personal home pages, serve small Web sites, and share documents via a local intranet.
Site administration for IIS is performed using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Via this interface you can manage access and security restrictions at the site, directory and file level. If you are using virtual sites you can specify the estimated daily traffic for each site (which controls how much memory IIS allocates for each Web site) and limit the amount of server bandwidth a particular site can use. Most settings can also be configured remotely using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Active Server Page (ASP) improvements in the latest release of IIS include additional support for transaction processing and memory isolation.
A common problem in earlier versions of IIS was that a single ASP application crash on a virtual site could bring down the entire Web Server and other sites on the same box. This problem has been virtually eliminated with v4.0 of IIS. One of IIS's few downsides is the lack of support for UNIX platforms. Performance is also a little slower than in IIS 3.0, but this won't be noticeable with most sites. All the product documentation is available online, but it pales in comparison to O'Reilly's WebSite's superb documentation, making third party documentation a likely necessity. Despite these minor drawbacks, the latest release of IIS far surpasses the competition and comes with an excellent price tag, making it the best choice for most NT-based Web sites. Microsoft has also released a patch that fixes the Microsoft IIS "GET" Vulnerability which could allow denial-of-service attacks to be mounted against Web servers. The patch is available for versions 3.x and 4.x on both Intel and Alpha platforms. From Microsoft, "The vulnerability involves the HTTP GET method, which is used to obtain information from an IIS Web server. Specially-malformed GET requests can create a denial of service situation that consumes all server resources, causing a server to 'hang.' "In some cases, the server can be put back into service by stopping and restarting IIS; in others, the server may need to be rebooted. This situation cannot happen accidentally. The malformed GET requests must be deliberately constructed and sent to the server. It is important to note that this vulnerability does not allow data on the server to be compromised, nor does it allow any privileges on it to be usurped".

What is Microsoft Site Server

Microsoft Site Server - Advanced site-deployment software for intranets and eCommerce. At the highest end of public Web servers, there are really two goals in mind. To the end user, the high-end server must present a slick public face in the hopes of attracting a high level of site traffic and commerce. Within the enterprise, the high-end server must be the gatekeeper, coordinating efforts between a score of other servers that handle specific tasks. In this milieu, using the term "Web server" as a singular term is misleading, and success depends on how well the different parts integrate and how easy it is for a site development team to develop applications. The level of integration between Site Server and other high-end Microsoft development tools, such as Visual InterDev and FrontPage, is rather impressive. Instead of going out and buying six different products to enable high-level Web commerce, Site Server offers all of the necessary tools under a single umbrella. Here's where a little operating-system philosophy is in order. UNIX is really a collection of small tools, and the trick to using UNIX on any level is knowing what tools work with other tools and how to integrate them. This is one of the most frustrating things about UNIX for those coming from a Windows environment, even though for the most part UNIX tools are more powerful than their Windows counterparts.
Of course, the advantage of a Windows environment is that it provides a more graceful interface to its tools. With Site Server, this role falls to Microsoft Management Console, which controls most of the Site Server functionality (alas, you'll need to use other Microsoft tools for usage analysis). And that's why Site Server is such a quantum leap for webmasters -- it provides a graceful interface to a set of integrated, advanced Web tools. Site Server also represents a great leap forward in a Web-based approach to commerce, borrowing as much from the venerable Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) as from Web standards.

Basically, you'll need to set up a pipeline for enabling transactions. On the lower end, an Order Processing Pipeline (OPP) can be used for credit-card orders and for verifying payment. For larger-scale commercial efforts, you can use the Commerce Interchange Pipeline (CIP), which enables all binary-data transactions via XML and EDI. CIP represents the Component Object Model (COM) objects that use Distributed COM to exchange data via SMTP or HTTP servers. We installed Site Server Commerce Edition and set up a test Web site to sell merchandise from the Northern League (an independent baseball league in the Upper Midwest and Canada), selling a wide range of baseball-related merchandise and (hypothetically) using EDI to maintain inventory from a variety of vendors, with the added twist of offering instant conversions from American dollars to Canadian dollars (and vice versa) using links to online banking sites. We also tested online-commerce abilities to offer real-time ticketing using (again, hypothetically) links to other transaction servers located at the eight stadiums in the league.
Within Microsoft Site Server 3.0 is a new Ad Server, which can be used to set up a sophisticated rotation of ad banners that differ based on time of day and the day of the week, coordinating ad banners to upcoming games and events. With it, we linked ads based on the page served; users who summoned a Duluth-Superior Dukes page received banners advertising Dukes merchandise and Duluth-area advertisers. Also new in Site Server is Intelligent CrossSell, which takes information about a particular shopper, either from the current session or the shopper's history, and then makes recommendations for additional purchases.
An ominous "popularity filtering" capability allows server managers to substitute recommendations of popular items for recommendations of not-so-popular items.

What is Apache server

Apache - High-end enterprise-level server for Unix and Windows 95/98/NT platforms Apache remains the king of Web servers despite intense efforts by Microsoft and Netscape to gain dominance in the market. In fact, the latest Netcraft surveys indicate that the freeware Apache is widening its lead over the rest of the field. Apache users have come to rely on the server's rock-solid reliability, outstanding performance, and rich set of features. As its two closest competitors have found out, a brand name alone does not necessarily equate to a loyal customer following (Netscape SuiteSpot), nor does a plump pocketbook ensure market share (Microsoft IIS).
The keys to Apache's attractiveness and popularity lie instead in the qualities listed above and its extensibility, its freely distributed source code, and active user support for the server. And version 1.3.0, now in official release, is already being touted as the most stable and fastest version of Apache ever. When coupled with the fact that the server will now run on Windows NT and 95/98, Apache appears poised to make inroads on Microsoft's sacred soil as well. Based originally on NCSA's freely available HTTPd server, Apache's features and strengths are too numerous to list. And if more than half of the Internet's Web sites use Apache, the server must be doing something right, right? Among the most notable features are its cross-platform support, protocol support (HTTP/1.1), modularity (API), security, logging, and overall performance and robustness. Apache runs on Windows (95/98/NT), OS/2, and all the major variants of Unix. The server is fully compliant with HTTP/1.1 and supports API and ISAPI (NT). Apache distributes a core set of modules that handle everything from user authentication and cookies to typo correction in URLs. There are many other tried and true custom modules readily available as well. Apache's overall security, performance, and robustness are unquestionable -- many of the most accessed sites in the world run Apache or Apache derivatives.
Public distribution of the source code results in patches for the software being distributed quickly, and allowing public scrutiny helps ensure that security holes in the software are promptly caught and reported. As a result, Apache's large user base has allowed its developers to create a package that is extremely stable and secure and one that is also able to compete more effectively with commercial packages in terms of both raw speed and integrated features. Despite all of its strengths, Apache certainly isn't for everybody. Setup and maintenance of the server are accomplished via command-line scripting tools.
Unlike most popular commercial servers, Apache offers neither browser-based maintenance capabilities nor any GUI configuration/administration tools. This is an advantage for some developers, but for others it can translate into higher deployment and maintenance costs, especially if the site's administrators are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of the server. The lack of visuals, wizards, and/or browser-based administration tools may be enough to turn some users away. Furthermore, Apache's "user-driven" technical support via newsgroups may not get the job done for more than a few developers. There are, however, several companies that do provide full commercial support -- for a price, of course. The atypical development and marketing style of the Apache server have not precluded it from becoming the most popular world wide Web server on the Internet today. Apache's robust design and extensibility, coupled with its freeware status and the availability of its source code to the public,make Apache a good choice for enterprise-level Web sites and for individuals and workgroups that use UNIX or a combination of UNIX and NT platforms. While Netscape and Microsoft sustain their search for a chink in Apache's armor, the most popular server on the 'net continues to show that it can withstand the competition's best efforts and still reign supreme as the champion of Web servers.

What is Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 is a full-featured mail server that provides a fine-grained approach to user permissions while also adding some basic groupware functionality. Exchange Server offers all the mail functionality you'd want, including an IMAP4 server and an LDAP directory service. There are two editions of Exchange Server: a Standard Server and an Enterprise Server. The Standard Server includes Active Server Components, news support, and a set of handy connectors to other e-mail systems (cc:Mail, Notes, and the Internet). The Enterprise Edition is designed for larger, clustered enterprise server installations and includes e-mail gateways for IBM OfficeVision, X.400, VM, and SNADS (provided Microsoft SNA Server is also installed). There are also many ties between the Internet and the World Wide Web within Exchange Server.
For instance, Exchange Server now supports Web scripted applications that are run by Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). Web users can access their mail and news discussions via a Web browser. The Web pages generated by Exchange Server's Web view look very similar to the interface presented by Outlook, so users will feel a consistency when moving between applications. And Java applets allow groupware features to be accessed via the Web browser. You must have a host of other Microsoft products installed on a server before Exchange Server can run, most of which are contained within either Windows NT Server 4.0 (such as Internet Explorer 4.0 and Internet Information Server 3.0) or Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 3 or later (which adds support for Microsoft Active Server Pages). Administration is done from the Exchange Administrator and employs a fine-grained approach to services and user privileges but lacks some basic sysadmin functionality. You can set web, IMAP, SMTP (outgoing mail), and NNTP (Usenet news) access for users or groups. In addition, you can set data-storage limits for users, groups, or the system as a whole, and you can determine how long messages are stored on the same basis. And you can restrict user access to specific times in the day and logons from specific workstations.
Alas, administration must be performed when logged on the NT server as no remote browser-based administration is available, and replication is a tedious chore that is basically performed by hand. Like every other Microsoft product, Exchange Server 5.5 is tied to other Microsoft products, this time both for users and administrators. The client of choice for Exchange Server 5.5 is Outlook 98 (included with the Service Pack 1 CD-ROM and also available for download from Microsoft), but any IMAP4 or POP3 mail client can access Exchange Server 5.5; they just won't have access to the more advanced features. Visual InterDev is supported as a development environment. The Exchange Server user data is tied closely to the Windows NT user directory; you can't set up an Exchange Server account for a user who doesn't have a Windows NT account. (This is handy for users, who have the same passwords for mail and network access, but not so handy for security-conscious system administrators who would rather have another level of protection available.) When setting up Exchange Server, user names and passwords can be imported directory from a Windows NT Server Domain or a NetWare NDS directory. You can set up Exchange Server to be the hub of sorts of a more extensive mail-server array through a feature called Smart Host, which forwards outbound SMTP mail to a third-party SMTP server. This allows you to set up direct communications between networked mail servers.

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