Facet Corp’s FacetWin has been a staple of many UNIX-Windows heterogeneous networks for many years. FacetWin 2.1 is the latest release of this venerable product and adds more features to the package. FacetWin is designed to run on any Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4 platform as well as older Windows 3.X systems, and offer a number of integration capabilities to UNIX hosts. File and printer sharing are the primary uses, with terminal emulation , e-mail access, and modem pool sharing close behind.
FacetWin lets you define any UNIX printer or filesystem (or subset of a filesystem such as a directory tree) to be shared. When shared, the directories and printers show up in the Windows Network Neighborhood as though they were Windows resources, and can be accessed as easily. This removes complicated FTP or telnet requirements for Windows users, as well as broadening the UNIX system’s usage. By default each user’s home directory is automatically shared, although administrators can turn this off if desired. Full support for Windows long filenames and both file and record locking prevent conflicting access to resources. The sharing is bidirectional: Windows printers can be accesses by UNIX applications through the usual lp spooler.
Terminal emulation will be necessary for some users to access legacy UNIX applications from their Windows desktop. A QuickLaunch features lets administrators and users set up a Windows desktop icon to automatically open an emulator window and start most UNIX application. For normal emulations, supported terminals include VT and Wyse series, as well as SCO ANSI. Function keys can be programmed and keyboards can be mapped, allowing access to UNIX applications that need special keystrokes not used on the basic character set.
Through FacetWin Windows users can access UNIX-based modems on a FIFO basis. The modems must be accessed through the terminal emulator, but Facet expects to make UNIX-based modem pools accessible to any Windows application in a future release. For e-mail services, a POP3 mailbox is included with FacetWin that can move mail between the UNIX server and Windows applications, including Exchange.
A couple of handy extra capabilities that packages like FacetWin offer should be handy for system administrators. Probably the most important for many system administrators will be backup and restore capabilities of a Windows filesystem from the UNIX host. With a large–capacity backup device such as DAT or AIT tape drives, the entire network (Windows and UNIX) could be backed up automatically. A remote administration tool completes the FacetWin package. All told, for UNIX to Windows integration there are few tools that have as many features as FacetWin, especially since they offer free pre and post sale technical support.