+ Active Server Pages objects deliver exciting new capabilities to server-side Web scripts
+ Except for ASP objects, IP*Works objects can be distributed royalty-free
- ASP objects require a per-CPU run-time license
$345 to $995, depending on platform; no royalties except for ASP edition
Windows applications written in Visual C++, Visual Basic, ASP, Delphi, C++ Builder, and ActiveX-compatible languages; Windows CE and cross-platform Java editions are also available; Borland Kylix (Delphi for Linux) version due soon
/n software inc., Research Triangle Park, N.C.; (919) 544-7770; www.nsoftware.com
Developers like it
IP*Works covers so many languages that we suspected /n software of taking the easy road. Most Windows object libraries claiming such broad coverage implement one set of objects in a universally accessible form, usually as COM or ActiveX objects. Because all Windows environments know how to communicate with COM, all bases are covered. C++ and Delphi programmers know better. COM/ActiveX objects carry considerable performance and resource overhead. These objects also impose a non-native interface on programmers: You can't treat a COM/ActiveX object as you would a C++ or Delphi object without writing a lot of extra code.
Happily, /n software did not take the lazy shortcut. The Visual C++, Borland C++ Builder, and Borland Delphi editions of IP*Works Version 4 are unique. Each is implemented in the target language and packaged as true C++ or Delphi objects.
For example, the Visual C++ edition delivers each protocol as a C++ class. The C++ objects use inheritance and virtual overrides, native techniques that help developers fit IP*Works into the application's overall structure. We tested several editions and found that each edition integrates well with its target programming language, allowing us to create several network clients from scratch in just a few hours.
We were especially impressed by the ASP edition. Web developers usually drop frequently requested network features such as Web e-mail and file uploads from their schedules because they require too much custom code. IP*Works Version 4 handles sending and reading e-mail, telnet (terminal emulation) sessions, and everything else the other IP*Works editions do.