WebSTAR is the Web server of choice for the Macintosh platforms (Power Mac and 680×0). The 2.0 release was given the 1998 Macworld Editors’ Choice award, and version 3.0 (now in public beta) is a major upgrade that includes HTTP 1.1 support, multihoming and virtual domain support, an integrated FTP server, a caching proxy server for dynamic caching, support for the WebSTAR API (W*API) v1.3, a built-in Java Virtual Machine, and TCP/IP encrypted remote administration support via the new WebSTAR Admin application. Additional features in the latest release include support for Java Servlets and enhanced server-side includes.
The features in the 3.0 release add to an already impressive feature-set that includes built-in image mapping support, HTTP Keep-Alive support (allows for faster multi-connection processing), auto-BinHexing of Mac OS files, a bundled enhanced security version (WebSTAR/SSL), a WebSTAR/SSL Security Toolkit for providing authentication and encryption to your Web pages, a wide variety of WebSTAR plug-ins (developed in Java using the WebSTAR Plug-in API), and a copy of the popular Adobe PageMill HTML editor. WebSTAR also offers a built-in search engine based on the Apple Information Access Toolkit which enables applications to extract text from PDF files.
WebSTAR is the Web server of choice for the Macintosh platforms (Power Mac and 680×0).
WebSTAR is easy to install and administer thanks to its integrated server management tools and browser-based remote administration capabilities. Depending on your network bandwidth, WebSTAR is capable of serving in excess of five million hits a day. Future development beyond version 3.0 looks bright as Quarterdeck recently sold StarNine, the developer of WebSTAR, to Platinum Equity Holdings. This deal is expected to help accelerate future product developments.
WebStar can be downloaded as a 30-day evaluation release, or you can purchase the server for $499. Upgrading from version 2.x will cost you $199, while upgrading from version 1.x costs $299. Other than its relatively expensive price tag, the only real drawbacks of WebSTAR are performance (a problem for all Mac servers) and poor live technical support. Still, while getting personal help for WebSTAR is a bit difficult, the WebSTAR Support Web site contains almost everything a developer could possibly want to know about WebSTAR, including tutorials, FAQs, software updates, a listing of plug-ins, and real-time mailing lists for discussing issues with other WebSTAR users.
Pros: Best Mac server available, remote admini via TCP/IP, integrated FTP and proxy servers
Cons: Performance (a problem for all Macintosh servers), expensive, poor live technical support
New: HTTP 1.1 support, multihoming and virtual domain support, enhanced server-side includes
Version Reviewed: 4.0
Reviewed by: Allison/Stroud
Date of Original Review: 8/7/98