XDegrees ships p-to-p platform with .NET My Services

Peer-to-peer vendor XDegrees Inc. Monday released the first version of its p-to-p application-sharing platform and announced that it has implemented Microsoft Corp.'s .NET My Services, formerly code-named HailStorm, for a business application.

The XDegrees System lets users publish documents and data to other XDegrees network users via a URL (Universal Resource Locator) to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration. Aimed squarely at the corporate market, the XDegrees System includes security measures to encrypt communications and to authorize user access through firewalls.

"Instead of setting up a new VPN for business partners, which is giving access to your servers, you give them document or folder level access, rather than a drive. It's a better way to limit access with finer granularity," said Michael Tanne, chief executive officer (CEO) of XDegrees, in Mountain View, California. The software will also work with Microsoft's Passport user authentication service.

XDegrees has implemented other aspects of Microsoft's .NET My Services service. The product will leverage the Microsoft Messenger and Passport to give users alerts and secure access to documents through Messenger. For example, a product designer could receive an alert through .NET My Services that a large CAD (computer-aided design) file is available for viewing from a business partner and could discuss the file in real-time through Windows Messenger.

Adam Sohn, a product manager in the .NET platform strategy group at Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, said that XDegrees' platform will enable some communications that get a boost from .NET.

"We think there is a benefit to applying these services within the enterprise as well as outside," Sohn said.

Indeed, Gartner, a consulting firm based in Stamford, Connecticut, predicted that Web services will gain early acceptance with the enterprise, then move outside the firewall by about 2005.

Initial installation cost for the XDegress System is about US$100,000.

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