Deploying the MS Exchange NNTP Service

Proprietary groupware systems, including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, Novell GroupWise, and SoftArc FirstClass, are all converging on Internet groupware standards. At the same time, there’s another kind of convergence within the realm of Internet groupware standards. The NNTP threaded-discussion protocol and the IMAP email standard are becoming two different ways to do the kinds of conferencing described in this book. Here, we’ll briefly explore how Exchange handles both NNTP discussions andIMAP public folders.

Microsoft Exchange has always supported the notion of a public folder—that is, a piece of your private message store that you can share with a selected group of collaborators. Even before there was an Exchange Server, earlier Microsoft mail products implemented public folders in terms of shared directories on a file server. More recently Exchange Server gained the ability to replicate between NNTP newsgroups and public folders, so that Exchange clients could read and participate in newsgroups by way of public folders, without requiring a separate newsreader. Exchange Server 5.5 went further. It added an NNTP service so that public folders can look, to a newsreader, just like normal NNTP newsgroups.

If you’re just looking for a native NNTP service, Exchange Server would be massive overkill. On the other hand, if your company has standardized on Exchange for internal email, and perhaps also for Internet email, the NNTP interface ...

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