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Pointspin™

Enable your users to quickly and easily publish Websites through the automated serving capabilities of Pointspin.

Web Hosting on Active Directory or Novell eDirectory

Pointspin™ enables users and groups to publish and host Websites from the confines of their server-based network storage. With Pointspin, the process is as simple as a user placing Website content in a designated folder. Once placed in the folder, the new or updated Web content is published immediately.

Pointspin authenticates to the network directory service (Microsoft Active Directory or Novell eDirectory) and the associated network file system through a proxy account. Once authenticated, Pointspin is able to access any Website content to be published in the PUBLIC_HTML subfolder in a user’s or group’s home folder, or a manually assigned folder of a group. If Web content resides in the subfolder, the Pointspin Engine serves it up by assigning a URL based on the Webserver name and user home folder or group home folder name. For example, the URL for Web content located in a user home folder would be: http://www.domainname/~username.

If the user or group wants to restrict access to the Website, access rules are established using a PSAccess file where users and credentials are established.

 

Serve Static Web Page on Novell eDirectory or Microsoft Active Directory

The features built into Pointspin™ make the product an incredibly easy-to-use solution for network users to publish Websites.

  • Publishes Websites automatically once content is placed in a folder
  • Simple tool allows users and groups to upload content to publication folder
  • Website owner can control access
  • Can be deployed in Microsoft Active Directory or Novell eDirectory networks
  • Websites can be built and managed using any tools
  • Tools provided for simple management of Websites
  • Combined Engine and Webserver
  • Network administrator can establish who can and cannot publish Web pages
  • Expanded Capabilities through File System Factory for AD or Novell Storage Manager

Similar to mod-edir

Simplify How Your Users Publish Websites The process for publishing a new Website or updating an existing Website is as simple as placing HTML files in the user or group’s PUBLIC_HTML. Once new content has been placed, the Pointspin™ Engine publishes them.

Control Access to Pointspin Published Websites Settings in the administrative interface let you specify whether the Website will be a subscription Website (requiring a username and password to access) or not.

Eliminate the Worries of Maintaining a Webserver The Pointspin Engine functions as both an encapsulated Web server and the means of implementing settings from the administrative interface. In comparison to web server software such as Microsoft IIs and Apache, the proprietary Pointspin Web server software is less susceptible to hacking and unauthorized access.

Simplify How Web Content is Uploaded for Publication To accommodate our academic customers, Pointspin includes an easy-to-use uploading tool that even a grade school student can use. The upload process is a simple as typing the URL path for the PUBLIC_HTML folder. Once it’s been entered, the path can be selected from a drop-down menu.

Expand Capabilities through File System Factory for AD or Novell Storage Manager When you deploy Pointspin into a network running either Condrey Corporation’s File System Factory for Active Directory or Novell Storage Manager, these products can simplify or enhance the capabilities of Pointspin. For example, these products can:

  • Create the PUBLIC_HTML subfolders automatically in all of the user and group home folders you want
  • Set consistent rights on these subfolders
  • Provision an HTML template for a user or group to use for their Web page
  • Host Web content that resides in Auxiliary Storage locations

Pointspin™ can be installed either in a Microsoft Active Directory network or a Novell eDirectory network.

Microsoft Active Directory Network Requirements

Storage

  • Windows Server 2003 or greater
  • Network Attached Storage

Engine

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows 7 Workstation (64-bit)

Administrative Interface

  • All major brands of Web browsers

Novell eDirectory Network Requirements

Storage

  • Novell Open Enterprise Server
  • NetWare 6.x

Engine

  • Novell Open Enterprise Server 11
  • Novell Open Enterprise Server 2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit with Novell Client)
  • Windows 7 Workstation (64-bit with Novell Client)

Administrative Interface

  • All major brands of Web browsers

Q: Our organization used to use the mod_edir module in NetWare to publish web pages. However, since moving to Novell Open Enterprise Server, we’ve missed having this ability. Will Pointspin™ provide the web publishing capabilities within Novell Open Enterprise Server that were previously available in mod_edir?

A: Absolutely! One of the principle reasons we developed Pointspin was to address the absence of a web publishing tool in Novell Open Enterprise Server. We’re certain that former mod-edir users will be pleased with this product.

Q: How does Pointspin assign website URLs?

A: When web content is added to a designated subfolder, the Pointspin Engine serves it up by assigning a URL based on the webserver name and user home folder or group home folder name. For example, the URL for web content located in a user home folder would be: http://www.domainname/~username.

Q:  How is Pointspin administered?

A: All administration work takes place in a web browser based administration interface. Much of the administrative work pertains to initial setup and configuration and once established, requires no follow-up administration. The minimalistic administrative work combined with the ability to automatically publish websites make Pointspin a product that is very cost-effective to manage.

Q: We are concerned about students hosting copyrighted materials on webpages. Does Pointspin have measures in place for preventing the publication or download of these from our websites?

A: Pointspin provides a Content Management utility through the web interface. Here, an administrator can block Pointspin from serving files with a provided file extension (.mp3, .swf, etc.). This  is on a domain-wide basis, not an individual basis. Lastly, content types over a certain size (in megabytes) can also be blocked in the administrative web interface.

Q: What is the websever software that Pointspin utilizes?

A: The Pointspin Engine includes a proprietary web server that Condrey Corporation first introduced in 2005 with its Kanaka for eDirectory product. Since its initial release, the web server has continued to be enhanced in its features and performance. Thousands of Condrey Corporation customers utilize this web server every day.

Q: How does Pointspin utilize the identity information stored in Microsoft Active Directory or Novell eDirectory?

A: Pointspin looks for the requested username in the directory service index and serves the website out of the proper folder.

Q: Can we install multiple Pointspin Engine servers within our directory tree?

A: Yes you can. In fact, we recommend that you do so to support high loads or to support the various differences in Pointspin publication settings among the users in an organization.

Q: In addition to serving web content from a subfolder of a user home folder, from what other folders can Pointspin serve web content?

A: When configured properly, web content can automatically serve web content located in subfolders of:

  • User home folders
  • Group home folders
  • Auxiliary Storage (created and managed using File System Factory for AD)
  • Personal folders located in group home folders
  • Manual storage

Q: What types of security is built into Pointspin?

A: The client/server data is sent via industry-standard HTTPS, and the Pointspin server rejects HTTP POST requests except in the password-protected administrator page (meaning a client cannot send arbitrary data to the server; it can only receive data from the server).

Q: Can I require that some web pages be accessible only through a username and password, while allowing other to be fully accessible from the outside world?

A: Of course. Through the administrative interface, a network administrator can establish settings that require that a valid username and password to access the web content. If these settings are not specified, the web site by default, is accessible to everyone.

Q: Once web content is moved into the PUBLIC_HTML subfolder, how long before the web page goes live?

A: Assuming the Pointspin server is running, the pages “go live” immediately. 

Q: If we already have an Apache web server or Microsoft IIS web server, can those work in conjunction with the Pointspin Engine?

A: Yes, if different ports are used for Pointspin and the other server software. However, we strongly recommend a dedicated server for Pointspin.

Q: From a single class, is it possible to prevent some students from publishing web content while allowing others to publish?

A: Using the administrative interface, Pointspin allows you to disable specific users and groups from publishing.