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The uServ Project

uServ is a Java-based P2P work collaboration system based on the IBM Almaden Research Center's XML-based Vinci. Vinci is a wide-area service-oriented architecture that has similarities to (and is made to interoperate with) technologies such as Jini, .NET and E-Speak. (See Vinci: A Service-Oriented Architecture for Rapid Development of Web Applications for more about Vinci.)

Unlike file sharing programs and protocols like Napster or Gnutella, collaborative programs like Groove or Lotus Notes, Instant Messaging (IM) programs like I Seek You (ICQ), or dedicated servers like Apache, uServ is designed to allow users to pool resources for publishing, hosting and file sharing using no special hardware, no special software and the common existing protocols Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Domain Name Service (DNS).

Each user installs uServ and is assigned a domain name (based upon their email address) that always identifies that machine, including machines that are assigned Internet Protocol (IP) addresses dynamically by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) and/or are behind a firewall. Content that is shared with others in a resource sharing group persists when individual computers are shut down. uServ currently serves approximately a thousand users on an IBM Almaden Research Center intranet. IBM is working on some additional deployments, but ultimate licensing and deployment are currently undetermined. The uServ FAQ says, "License agreements are possible but the process is complicated."

Date Listed: 01/22/2002