An industry body working on interoperability between different global networks has had to rethink its plans to include the Internet. The Multimedia Services Affiliates Forum (MSAF), which is developing standard protocols for linking networks such as Lotus Notes Public Network and IBM Global Network, is now looking to integrate Internet standards too.
The MSAF, which consists of telecomms carriers led by AT&T, plus network and software suppliers, has recently developed protocols for global public networks based on Notes and Netware Directory Services (NDS). It has now turned its attention to integrating these with standards proposed by the Internet body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Although the Forum admitted it had been rather late to take the Internet into account, it said its aim is that all global network suppliers should incorporate standard Internet protocols into their infrastructure. This would be particularly important for remote users accessing global networks across the Internet or Intranet, said Lov Kher, director of the MSAF and business development director at AT&T.
He admitted the MSAF had to refocus its activities with the rise of the Internet, but insisted it has not given up on the uptake of global networks based on single-vendor technologies.
In December, the MSAF will publish two protocols for the interoperability of Notes Public Networks and global networks using Netware Directory Services, following successful trials in Berlin last month. Other networks to be incorporated will be IBM Global Network, MCI's forthcoming NetworkMCI or AT&T's Worldnet. Interoperability with Microsoft Exchange will also be tested in December.
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