Extraordinary Extranets: Help from the Industry
Getting Help From the Industry
Netscape Communications and over 40 other leading companies including Hewlett-Packard, Novell, Oracle, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems and VeriSign recently announced support for a core set of open standards that enable extranets.
The Extranet Alliance
The Extranet Alliance standards define a common blueprint for organizations to create a new breed of Crossware applications to strengthen the links between customers, partners, suppliers and distributors over the Internet. Widespread support for these standards will help to ensure interoperability between products from various vendors and provide customers with a roadmap for implementing their extranets.According to Marc Andreessen, senior vice president of technology at Netscape, "Now that companies have seen the benefits of Intranets, they are looking to extend that same online communications model to their outside suppliers, customers and partners. Internet technologies and open standards deliver the infrastructure for this new generation of Crossware applications - that is, applications that seamlessly cross multiple operating systems, firewalls, databases, hardware platforms and business Intranets. With major companies lining up behind a common set of Extranet standards, enterprise customers can expect true interoperability between applications from a variety of companies going forward."
The alliance's set of standards include:
- Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
- An open standard format for storing contact and network resource information, for registering web clients and application servers in a directory, and for storing certificates in a directory.
- Secure MIME (S/MIME)
- An open standard for sending secure e-mail messages using certificate-based encryption and authentication.
- X.509 Certificates Version 3
- An open specification for electronic credentials (digital certificates), similar to driver's licenses, and used for strong authentication of user identities and encryption of messages between clients and servers.
- An open standard for storing and presenting contact or registration information. vCard is part of the Versit consortium and has been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a proposed Internet standard.
- Signed Objects
- An open standard format to automate trusted software and document distribution defined by the JavaSoft Java Archive (JAR) specification that defines a standard approach for packaging the components of a Java application. Signed Objects help to assure users that the Java programs they download are, in fact, legitimate and not rogue versions that attempt to steal confidential information, such as credit card numbers.
- EDI INT
- A standard for implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) within the Internet protocol suite. The EDI INT open standard is managed by an IETF working group.
Comments are welcome
Created: Aug. 27, 1997
Revised: Aug. 27, 1997