January 19, 2001, 2:37 PM — Mangosoft is rolling out software that will let users share files over the Internet using peer-to-peer technology that could be cheaper than using a VPN and more secure than e-mail.
For companies with customers who share documents, Mangomind software lets users access files over the Internet securely then create, control and store them using Mangomind's business file sharing service. That service includes storage and hosting of those files on a Mangomind server. Users from different companies could also share files for projects they are working on together.
For companies that have critical business documents -- such as those used for technical support, marketing and product development -- the software is a simple way to share files without the normal constraints of a corporate network. Unlike Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange, Mangomind is a small footprint on the desktop that can be downloaded using a Web browser through an Internet connection.
Mangomind's collaboration software resides on a PC and behaves like any other file drive on their system.
A customer can use Mangomind software to create a drive and give access to users who need to share files. The administrator also sets access control for files and folders. Users then link to the Mangosoft Web page, where they download client software and install it on their PC. Anyone given permission to join a Mangomind drive can then access and share the drive. Users working on files while disconnected from the Internet will have their documents automatically synchronized upon reconnecting. If the Mangomind server detects that two users have modified the same file, the file is placed in a "conflict bin" and the user is informed.
Users don't need to change current behavior to use Mangomind because it appears to be just another drive in their file manager, says Michael Hoch, an analyst with Aberdeen Group. "It looks like you are going in through Windows Explorer, so the user doesn't have to learn a whole new way to interact with the desktop or document," he says.
Companies sharing files over the Internet need to make sure they are secure. Mangomind documents are encrypted for security and kept on a Mangomind-hosted server. Companies also need to make sure the documents are available to users for access. Mangomind host servers can be placed at ASPs and Web host sites to help ensure the host servers are available at all times.
The Mangomind is available now and works with Windows 95, 98, NT and 2000 networks. A single user license starts at $29.95 per seat and includes 10M bytes of hosted storage space, which is needed to store documents. Discounts are provided based on license volume, contract duration and payment terms. Additional disk space is also available. A Mangomind Starter Kit is available for free until Dec. 31, which includes 10 seats and 100M bytes of managed storage.