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IBM AS/400e: A Web Server for the Enterprise

The hardware specs for IBM's new AS/400 may sound like a Web server on steroids, with a 2.1 terrabyte hard disk, a 64-bit processor and 20 gigabytes of memory. But the mini-computer's software features are even more of a wish list for the Web-enabled enterprise.

The new AS/400 line comes with payment-server software supporting SET (Secure Electronic Transaction); LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) for e-mail directory services; and native Java support conforming to the Java Beans specification.

"Many people still think of AS/400 as an SNA platform," says IBM vice president, server and workstation development, Jim Petzborn, "but for the past five years, the number one investment for AS/400 development has been in TCP/IP." IBM is marketing the new units to compete with NT and Unix systems in corporations where the Web site must be integrated with corporate applications.

The new models run more than 30,000 AS/400 applications, in addition to supporting both NT and NetWare. Web server software includes both IBM HTTP Server (formerly known as Internet Connection Server), and Domino for AS/400. Also included is a firewall with log analysis and virtual private network software.

The built-in TCIP/IP management features include virtual IP addressing, IP masquerading and TCP/IP address mapping. IBM is also making available a software developer's kit for Active X and OLE DB that takes advantage of Visual BASIC wizards.

Java support includes the JDK 1.1.6, an integrated Java virtual machine and Java servlet support.

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