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Sep 97 - NewsBits

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Newsbits


by Jessica Courtney

Iconovex Corp. Introduces EchoSearch Web Software for the Macintosh -- The First Truly Intelligent Desktop Research Tool

Iconovex Corporation, makers of the desktop-based, professional research tool EchoSearch, announced a Macintosh version, EchoSearch 1.08. A simple, yet powerful tool, EchoSearch significantly improves the efficiency and accuracy of Internet or corporate Intranet searches.

Making use of Java's multi-threading capabilities, EchoSearch enables users to simultaneously query multiple search engines. Unlike other Web search tools, EchoSearch features an intelligent back-end that can index and accurately summarize the research documents that are gathered in response to the query.

Once the complete hit list has been built, EchoSearch again uses Java's multi-threading capabilities to simultaneously download the documents and to process them linguistically, extracting the important phrases and ideas.

The resulting indexes and summaries are then matched against the user's original query and the user is presented with a condensed view that contains only the most relevant entries. These entries are then hyperlinked to their occurrences in the original documents. After viewing the research results, a user has the option of refining the original search by returning to the EchoSearch interface and clicking on the "Refine Results" button. When this alternative is selected, the program then displays another subset view of the refined query on the initial global views (documents/hits that were found the first time).

EchoSearch for the Macintosh can be downloaded for free from the Iconovex Web site at

Lasso 2.0 Sets a New Standard for Web Database Publishing on the Mac OS

Blue World Communications, Inc. began shipping Lasso 2.0, an upgrade to Lasso, for Web-enabled database publishing with FileMaker Pro 3.0 for Mac OS. Lasso 2.0 is the only complete solution for web-enabling and Java-enabling FileMaker Pro, the leading Macintosh database from Claris Corporation. Lasso 2.0 is a fully integrated publishing solution that is well suited to any size enterprise.

Lasso 2.0 is packed with features that previously required scores of separate solutions costing thousands of dollars. Beyond advanced FileMaker Pro Web integration, Lasso 2.0 provides all the advanced dynamic Web database publishing capabilities one might expect. This includes built-in image conversion, logging, comprehensive conditionals, multi-tier remotely controlled security, ability to send Apple Events, complex Server Side Include functions and more. Noteworthy is Lasso 2.0's new "Inline" command which allows multiple database operations to be processed all within a single HTML file. Also, Lasso 2.0 can now operate as an action based upon unique file suffixes and reference format files stored anywhere across one's local network.

Unlike competitive solutions, Lasso 2.0 provides full support for FileMaker Pro features such as repeating fields and related records via portals. What's more, Lasso was the first and remains the only FileMaker Pro Web-enabling solution that contains built-in email forwarding capabilities.

Lasso 2.0 operates on the principle of easily editable HTML files which contain all database integration commands and dynamic page generation instructions alongside standard HTML page elements. This extended HTML mark-up "language" is referred to as the Lasso Dynamic Markup Language (LDML). The LDML method has proven itself superior to users who quickly outgrow cumbersome and limited "wizard-like" approaches to database integration.

Lasso users operate in their HTML authoring environment of choice and use the included GUI-based FM Link tool to drag-and-drop LDML commands into their Web pages, providing the most direct way to add database functionality while working in a graphical HTML editing environment.

Commerce Capabilities

Lasso 2.0 expands upon Lasso 1.2.1's already rich commerce capabilities providing full cookie support and the ability to pass tokens along with the ability to send Apple Events to MacAuthorize for credit card verification. With Lasso's built-in email forwarding capability, one sends customer order receipts immediately via email. Sample online shopping cart templates and databases are provided which assist users with rapid cyberstore development.

Java-Enabling FileMaker Pro

Lasso 2.0 allows Java applets and applications to access FileMaker Pro databases from anywhere on the Internet. Java developers use the provided set of Java classes to create dynamic front-ends to FileMaker Pro data. Sample applets provided by Blue World include a Java-based FileMaker Pro client that mimics the FileMaker Pro standard interface, a Java-based chat forum code-named "CoffeeHouse", a Lasso Tags database and a database info gathering example.

Built-in Web Server

Lasso 2.0 Server version offers a built-in Web server optimized for dedicated FileMaker Pro Web database servers. Beyond all the capabilities found in the CGI and plug-in versions, Lasso 2.0 Server provides standard Web server features including: the ability to serve HTML, GIF, and JPEG files (in addition to other MIME types), selectable port controls, suffix mapping, process controls based upon suffix name and more.

Free Solutions

To assist users with building dynamic Web database solutions, Blue World provides numerous free templates and databases. Solutions include online shopping carts, guestbooks, discussion forums, Web calendars, numerous Java examples and more. A listing of solutions is available at

Further information about Lasso including links to online examples and free run-limited versions is available on the Lasso website at

StuffIt InstallerMaker 4.1 with Electronic Commerce Capabilities now Available from Aladdin Systems, Inc.

Aladdin's Installer Gets New Tasks and Flag Alerts for Improved Installations

Aladdin Systems, Inc., developer and publisher of the worldwide compression standard StuffIt, today announced StuffIt InstallerMaker 4.1 began shipping. StuffIt InstallerMaker allows developers to easily create custom software installers and automatic trialware software (a time-locked demo) without any coding. InstallerMaker is the only Macintosh installer with automatic trialware creation capability. Trialware created with InstallerMaker can be purchased by end users with the click of a button.

Six New Features in InstallerMaker 4.1

Two new Tasks make InstallerMaker faster and easier to use. The "Display Alert" Task allows developers to show alert messages to users at any time during installation. The "Launch" Task allows developers to create tasks to launch applications, open other files, or launch additional installers that are necessary to the installation of their software, without having to include them in the installer archive.

"Preserve Success/Fail Status," and the "Execute When" features let users know when and if their installation succeeded. Preserve Success/Fail Status, allows developers to preserve the flag that indicates whether the last Task and/or Find failed when executing tasks, and the Execute When condition. Execute When is a new feature that allows Tasks to be set to execute under three conditions: Always, If last Task/Find succeeded, or If last Task/Find failed.

The fifth new feature is the "Edit Installer Finder Info." It allows developers to set the Shared and File Locked flags for the installer, and/or the minimum and preferred memory allocation. This feature makes it easier to retain the custom settings for the installer.

The sixth new feature included in InstallerMaker 4.1 is added support for calling IMid extensions before and after Alias and Rename tasks.

InstallerMaker 4.1 features time saving enhancements including: the capability to use ShrinkWrap 2.0 and Aladdin's upcoming ShrinkWrap 3.0 for creating disk images as part of the build process, a software license display mode during installation, a new update architecture that creates software updaters in one tenth the time and up to 60% smaller, support for building additional foreign language installers, a faster find, easier

Internet TCP/IP configuration for ISPs, the ability to display banners and play sounds during the installation process, as well as valuable user interface enhancements.

Electronic Commerce Solution

With InstallerMaker 4.1, developers can convert their software into trialware with two simple menu selections; setting the purchase price and demo period, and adding graphics. InstallerMaker creates a version of trialware with full featured electronic commerce, a fast, simple extension of the installation creation process which developers are already required to do, but without the extensive additional coding necessary on other electronic commerce solutions.

When InstallerMaker's trialware feature is enabled, the user is notified every time they run the software of the number of days or launches left in their trial period. They are also given the opportunity to purchase the product from within the application. The purchase may be made in real time via the Internet, modem connection, an 800 phone call, by fax, or postal mail. When the demo period expires users will not be able to continue using the software without a purchase even if they reinstall it.

Creating Disk Images with ShrinkWrap

InstallerMaker has the capability to use ShrinkWrap to create disk images while building an installer. This eliminates a time consuming step in the SCM process and results in more reliable product builds. With Aladdin's ShrinkWrap technology InstallerMaker can now produce the master disk images for duplication automatically.

Software License Dialog With Foreign Language Support

InstallerMaker supports a separate software license dialog box during installation. Developers can add copies of their software license agreement in multiple languages (Spanish, French, German, etc.) to be displayed before installation. The end user must accept the terms of the license agreement before the installation will proceed.

Internet Configuration Support

New documentation and the Internet PrefSaver have been added to assist developers, in configuring a Mac OS computer for Internet access. PrefSaver helps ensure user account name and password information is propagated across common Internet software packages such as Netscape Navigator, Eudora Lite, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Internet Config and many others through Internet Config.

StuffIt InstallerMaker is distributed electronically through the World Wide Web at and on CompuServe. InstallerMaker is sold through license agreements directly from Aladdin. Current licensees can download a free upgrade of the new version.

Stalker Software adds Anti-Spamming Features to its Mail Server Products

Stalker Software, Inc. has just released its latest feature, Anti-Spamming, for both the CommuniGate Messaging System and the Stalker Internet Mail Server. The new feature is especially popular for Internet Service Providers as they suffer the most from senders of bulk email (spammers). Not only do Spam offenders fill mailboxes that ISPs maintain for their clients, but they also abuse ISP mail servers, using them as relays to distribute bulk email all over the world.

Anti-spam features are included into the both Stalker SMTP products: the commercial CommuniGate SMTP module, and into the freeware Stalker Internet Mail Server (SIMS).

The first feature allows the server administrator to put the network addresses of spammer hosts into the server Black List: all connections from those hosts are rejected, and no mail is taken from those hosts. There are already several web sites on the Internet that maintain a list of offending hosts addresses: information from those sites can be used to fill the Black List.

The second feature allows the administrator to restrict relaying features of SMTP servers, thus making the servers useless for spammers. The server administrator can specify the network addresses of all "legitimate" clients of that server. Usually, it's just all the addresses on the server LAN, but it can be any set of addresses.

While messages submitted from those "listed" addresses can be sent (relayed) to any address on the Internet, and messages received from any Internet address can be sent to any "listed" system, messages from "unlisted" addresses are not relayed to other "unlisted" addresses. This makes the host useless for spammers that would want to employ it for relaying their messages all over the Net.

These new versions of the CommuniGate SMTP and the Stalker Internet Mail Server implement the standard mail protocols (POP,SMTP,POP,PWD) via AppleTalk, in addition to TCP/IP. Now mailers that support AppleTalk connections, such as the Claris Emailer, can use both Stalker standard-based servers on AppleTalk-only LANs -- the feature that was available only with proprietary products such as Claris OfficeMail.

These latest updates allow Stalker to offer the special package of (25-users license with UUCP, POP, SMTP, and PWD modules, regular price $400) for just $189 to all owners of the Claris Office servers.

The Stalker Internet Mail Server can be downloaded from This product is free, but it is backed up with the Stalker technical support staff and has a dedicated mailing list.

To allow all Macintosh mail server administrators to employ these new features as soon as possible, a utility to convert Apple/Eudora Mail Server accounts into Stalker Internet Mail Server accounts is posted on the Stalker Web site at

The CommuniGate SMTP and other components of the CommuniGate Integrated Messaging System can be downloaded from

Updates to the new version of the CommuniGate SMTP module are free.

ClearWay Technologies Ships FireSite Web Site Accelerator 2.1 Optimized for ISDN-based Web Servers

Boston, MA., July 11, 1997 -- ClearWay Technologies, Inc. today announced an updated version of its FireSite(tm) Web Site Accelerator, which contains special optimizations for ISDN-based Web servers. When used with ISDN lines running at speeds from 56Kbps to 128Kbps, FireSite 2.1 can sustain page delivery speeds exceeding 500Kbps, and can increase Web site "traffic capacity" by 400-800%. FireSite 2.1 also can now operated in conjunction with "virtual ISDN connections". Free demos are available from

Many ISDN Webmasters are now hosting additional "virtual" Web sites, and FireSite 2.1, with its integrated Virtual Domain Manager, provides an excellent solution. FireSite 2.1 Standard and Multimedia Edition include the FireSite Virtual Domain Manager, the Web's most advanced single-IP Web hosting system. Because server load and bandwidth requirements increase as more sites are hosted, FireSite's speed and capacity increases are a perfect companion for Webmasters hosting virtual Web sites on ISDN lines.

The list of all FireSite 2.1 products and prices is available at

Apple Computer Bundles EveryWare's Tango Enterprise and Butler SQL

EveryWare Development, Inc. reached a software distribution agreement with Apple Computer, Inc. The agreement is to bundle Tango Enterprise and Butler SQL, EveryWare's intranet rapid application development tool and relational database management system with the Apple Internet Server Solution.

Apple Computer, Inc. is focused on providing a complete solution to organizations in business, education, or publishing that want to establish a significant presence on the Web. The Apple Internet Server Solution, which is one of three available software solutions for Apple's Workgroup Server family, addresses the unique demands of the Web server market by combining software from industry-leading Internet developers with Apple's powerful new Workgroup servers.

Tango Enterprise is a leading-edge development tool for creating dynamic, Web-based applications for the Internet or corporate intranets. Tango's visual development environment allows Web developers to rapidly develop and deploy sophisticated Web applications that are integrated with databases. Tango Enterprise will integrate two of the most popular databases on the Macintosh: FileMaker Pro from Claris Corp. and Butler SQL from EveryWare Development Inc. Tango Enterprise will also work with all other ODBC compliant databases including Oracle, Informix, SQL Server, Sybase, Access, and DB2

The Tango product family allows for rapid construction of dynamic Web sites. The family consists of Tango Enterprise, Tango for Access, Tango for FileMaker, and Tango Merchant. The Bolero product family enables Web administrators to effective analyze and maintain high volume Web sites. This product is presently shipping on the Macintosh.


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