Remotely accessing applications via the Web has become more common among recreational Web users, but professional use of the Web has largely been relegated to company intranets and password-protected FTP sites. A host of new products at Seybold aim to change that, offering computer users the chance to manage project development and administrate Web sites via Web-based interfaces.
All the software products have one thing in common: they use a Web browser as an operating system. Users access the application via the browser to do their work, and the application -- along with the data it handles -- lives on another server.
Below is a roundup of the Web-based Web-site project and production tools most likely to thrive on the Mac platform:
|Name||URL||What it does||Who can use it|
|DesignFreak.com||http://www.designfreak.com/||Billing itself as "the new media vortal," Designfreak.com provides a set of Web-based collaborative tools for hire. Working on a subscription model -- $12.95 per month per person -- users have access to a tool that lets them set up, manage, and monitor team-based projects, even when the team members are scattered to the four winds.||This product is useful for anyone who works as a freelancer and frequently collaborates with other workers, offices that don't have the time or resources to build a proprietary project-manangement tool, or teams involved in multistep projects for hands-on clients. Since the program is accessible to users only via the Web, it's platform-neutral.|
|Kinecta Interact||http://www.kinecta.com/||Web sites that push syndicated content out to other sites -- or rely on other Web sites' syndicated content for their own pages -- need a way to control what gets sent to whom, and what gets published where. Kinecta lets syndicators assemble and monitor content packages for their subscribers; and for subscribers, Kinecta's a handy way to control the placement and appearance of syndicated content on their Web site.||Anyone who runs Linux on their Mac -- although users can access Kinecta using a typical Web browser, the application runs only on Linux, Unix, and Windows boxes right now. Mac users are more likely to use it as an end-user than they are as an administrator.|
|DeskNetAPS||http://www.desknetinc.com/||Moving files from QuarkXPress to HTML -- or in the reverse direction -- has bedeviled many design-conscious print professionals. DeskNetAPS lets users set up a template library, create designs on-the-fly, then distill the results into a PDF. The user can look over the PDF and approve it; the approved PDF is checked back into DeskNetAPS, and the print job is registered to begin printing.||Anyone who works in print can appreciate speedy design and approval processes for products that need to go to press quickly. DeskNetAPS also has a variety of nonbrowser-based features that serve the print/Web-product market. Mac users will likely use this on the Web site end.|
|siteyard||http://www.zapwerk.com/||Promising to take the Webmaster out of Web site production, siteyard provides a Web-based administration tool for people to create and update Web sites. Differing user privileges let administrators track and edit work before it's published to a live site, but anyone who's using siteyard to create content can generate and test a page on a staging server.||Any Mac-based business can use siteyard; the server can be installed on any Mac with sufficient horsepower to handle frequent traffic.|