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Snow Leopard Server to provide iPhone backend

updated 12:45 pm EDT, Fri April 24, 2009

S. Lep Server and iPhone

Snow Leopard Server will provide corporate iPhone support previously only available through third-party software, investigation is said to show. The OS has been slated to receive a remote access feature for sometime, but details in a WWDC session preview appear to confirm that a component called the Mobile Access Server will give iPhones the ability to retrieve corporate e-mail, contacts, calendars and web services without a VPN connection. Currently, only Cisco and Microsoft VPN servers are supported for secure access.

Sources claim that the Apple technology is based on the concept of a proxy server, offering tighter security screening without forcing clients to connect manually. Caching and content filtering are said to be provided, along with a "reverse proxy" that ensures SSL-certified encryption of outgoing e-mail and web content. Supported formats are known to include IMAP, SMTP, HTTP and CalDAV.

Corporations may find the technology attractive mainly due to cost, as Snow Leopard Server could theoretically substitute for the common combination of Exchange, SharePoint and Windows Server in supporting cellphones. Owners of Microsoft enterprise software must also typically the pay the company in terms of per-user client licenses, rapidly inflating expenses as a business grows. It is unclear however to what extent non-Apple devices may be supported by Snow Leopard.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does anyone know if

    this could lead to being able to being able to manage an iPhone remotely and being able to update firmware remotely. This could be huge if the iPhone or iPod Touch could be updated from a corporate center. Sorry if I don't really understand the or miss the significance of this ability.

    I like the idea of Leopard Server being able to put an end run around Microsoft products. I would be another reason for corporations to buy Apple products.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @Constable Odo

    Dude - there's no telling. MacNN's write up is vague at best. It's not really their fault either.

    I'd say just wait until the Dev Conf listen to what Apple says - then if you still don't know - pose your question again someplace.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    No to firmware. That has to go through the sync process, and, as such, through iTunes. And Apple isn't fond of letting others 'distribute' their updates.

    As to what it could 'lead' to, that all depends on where Apple wants it to lead to. Who knows what they will allow in 5 years.

    As to this software that's mentioned, the blurb at the bottom is the most significant. If it is going to just support iPhones/iPods, there may be less desire to roll it out by departments.

    One other question that isn't answered is whether OS X server will allow corporations to run their own push servers, rather than using Apple's servers to push email and other traffic indicators. That's always been considered one of the downsides of blackberry, having all traffic go through their servers.

  1. 010111

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "And Apple isn't fond of letting others 'distribute' their updates."

    yeah. totally.

    that completely explains the existence of the Software Update service used for local mirroring/hosting and distribution of Apple system updates to local clients as currently exists in Leopard Server.

    but yeah... Apple hates that type of c*** with such fervor and vengeance that they created a dedicated service for it.

    concerning push email... Apple already said in 10.6 Server previews that it would have a push service for email and calendaring. you can already get push email for iPhones using a 3rd party Exchange compatible email server such as Kerio.

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice Snow Leopard Picture

    Hey, MacNN,

    Thanks for switching to this Snow Leopard photo that doesn't look like it's going to kick my a**, like that other freaky photo!!!

  1. waffffffle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    VPN works with OS X

    "Currently, only Cisco and Microsoft VPN servers are supported for secure access."

    Not true. I've had my iPhone working great with the OS X VPN server in Tiger and Leopard since the first iPhone shipped in June 2007. Please check your facts. It is even listed on the site for Leopard Server:

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