The next version of Apple’s server software, codenamed Leopard Server, includes a few new features for the early adopter web crowd and their organizations. Ruby on Rails, podcast production, wikis, blogs, and grid computing are just some of the features built-in to the new server OS.
The new features redefine what’s possible away from a Microsoft-centered world of Exchange and Sharepoint, opening new possibilities through a combination of open-source software, industry-standard protocols, and Apple’s friendly interface and design. Small workgroups using Macs or Windows should be able to rack an Xserve and be happy.
Apple will release an open-source calendar server at its new codebase, opensource.apple.com. The new calendar server uses CalDAV for exchanging data with applications such as iCal 3, Mozilla Sunbird, Chandler, and Microsoft Outlook. The server includes scheduling, the #1 thing Outlook + Exchange enterprise users seem to miss when switching off a Microsoft intranet.
Leopard server lets you record podcasts inside of a web browser and stored on your server. If your network supports Xgrid your podcast encoding will be distributed around to any nodes with free cycles. The server records audio and video from Firewire and USB peripherals as well as your computer’s built-in mic and iSight. The encoder outputs your recording into formats suited for a web page, iTunes desktop subscription, iPod, or even a cell phone. The server also has privilege levels built-in allowing you to specify who can create and upload podcasts to your server.
Teams can share information using a wiki, blog, calendar, and mailing list all integrated for easy collaboration. The wiki supports drag and drop editing, a WYSIWYG authoring interface, and feed subscriptions right in your product team dashboard.
iChat Server 2 allows your local users to chat with other XMPP systems such as Google Talk and vise versa. You can automatically generate buddy lists for your users as well.
Just a few of the features in OS X 10.5 “Leopard” Server due out next year. Your Xserve is now Web 2.0 compliant!