new WWW services may be created either by extending Web protocols or by adding services in a lower layer. The DCE Web toolkit demonstrates that a broad array of news services can be provided in a layer below HTTP. this toolkit provides prototype Web implementations with many new features, including security and location independent hyperlinks without modification of the HTTP protocol and only minor changes to the Web applications.
steve lewontin from the OSF research institute, cambridge, MA, USA presented the DCE Web toolkit, which provides an infrastructure for enterprise-level distributed computing environment. its major goal is to provide strong security features like:
steve lewontin explained how the DCE Web toolkit adds new functionality to the Web by introducing a new layer of software between the HTTP protocol and the transport layer. services like encryption and authentication are provided transparently, while other services are available either through Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) or via the so called extended service APplication Interface (API). according to steve lewontin, it was quite easy to implement the toolkit layer into Mosaic and the HTTP daemon.
from my point of view, access control is one of the most interesting feature of this toolkit. the major problem of such an extension is the fact that it introduces incompatibility. if one decides to go with such an extended WWW software, it is virtually impossible to use features of other extended servers or clients and one drifts away from the HTTP and HTML standards.
this paper is available on the Web.
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