With threaded Web-based discussions, real-timesIRC chat, and NNTP-based access, O''Reilly''ssWebBoard is a collaborative product that will appealsto many types of customers.

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 5, 2002


Collaboration tools are the brave new frontier of the Internet, though they can take many forms, ranging from relatively low-level IRC-based discussions to more elaborate threaded discussions. Covering the spread is the idea behind WebBoard, the Web-conferencing tool from O'Reilly Software.

WebBoard facilitates real-time conferencing among Internet and intranet users in a number of ways. Users can access WebBoard forums in any number of fashions: via a standard newsreader, via electronic mail, via real-time Web-based chat, or reading Web-based asynchronous forums. Covering the spread is the idea behind WebBoard, the Web-conferencing tool from O'Reilly Software.

This is not a product appropriate for smaller or more casual Web sites; its intended audiences are corporations, larger ISPs, and educational institutions. A single license - reasonably priced at $1,199 - supports up to 255 virtual boards supporting an unlimited number of users. In addition, the single license supports up to 1,000 simultaneous IRC-based chat users.

Under WebBoard, collaboration and chat can take many forms. On the one hand, WebBoard handles real-time and stored discussions based on the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP), the standard Internet protocol for distributing newsfeeds. In addition, the chat world isn't a monolithic entity; there are many different approaches to enabling chat, ranging from dedicated chat clients to open chat based on the Internet Relay Chat technology. With WebBoard, you can offer two types of chat: JavaScript-based chat (which allows features like custom text, active links, paging, and private discussions between users) or Java-based IRC, which supports up to 1,000 simultaneous users.

Most impressive in this newest version are the added tools for discussion-area customization. WebBoard now supports Open Scripting, which means that scripts created using any popular scripting language (JavaScript, PerlScript, VBScript) can replace or modify WebBoard operations.

Data can be stored on the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE), but larger corporations will probably want to make use of built-in links to Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 or better.

We installed WebBoard directly on a Windows NT 4.0 server ... read more

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