Promotional offer meant to encourage use of app-building 'bots'
Apple is offering free copies of OS X Server for 10.9 Mavericks to iOS developers in the hopes of encouraging the use of Xcode bots, which take advantage of the new "continuous integration" in the latest version of Xcode to automate some of the app-building process, specifically testing apps on a remote machine. The use of bots allows developers to see the test reports on their development machines running Xcode rather than split their time between testing and correcting issues.
New version bring full compatibility to OS X 10.9
Adding to the plethora of Apple software updates today, Cupertino has upgraded Xcode, OS X Server, and Apple Remote Desktop as well. Xcode has been incremented to v5.0.1, with Apple Remote Desktop being boosted to version 3.7. OS X Server with the Mavericks core is now at v3.0.
Continuing updates reinforce commitment to fall deadlines
In addition to the iOS 7, Apple TV and iTunes 11.1 betas issued earlier today, Apple has also updated the forthcoming Xcode 5, OS X Server and Remote Desktop betas for developers. The Xcode update (Developer Preview 4) fixes a number of crashing bugs and polishes up the interface, with OS X Server update (also at Developer Preview 4) offering much the same in the way of changes. Apple Remote Desktop 3.7 was also updated, but with no reported changes apart from a lack of any known major issues.
Rolls in security changes present in just-released 10.8.4 update
As expected, Apple has issued Security Update 2013-002 for older versions of OS X that are limited to the security-oriented changes present in the latest Mountain Lion update, v10.8.4, which was issued earlier today. Updates for Snow Leopard (10.6), the OS X Server version of Snow Leopard, the OS X Server version of Lion (10.7) and the client version of Lion are all now available through Software Update or Apple's own Support Downloads page. Issues were found and patched for OpenSSL, QuickTime, Ruby and SMB among other areas.
Corrects bugs, enhances features, adds speed, Retina support
Apple has issued a minor update to its OS X Server app for Mountain Lion, now at version 2.21. The $20 program allows anyone with a Mountain Lion install to turn the OS into a server OS utilizing a suite of utilities included in the application. The update improves the speed of downloading Mac App Store software through improved caching, adds Time Machine service monitoring, brings Retina display support for the Wiki Server, adds the ability to use Active Directory groups in Profile Manager and more.
OS X Server weak on authentication, say experts
Security experts who have gathered in Las Vegas this week for the Black Hat conference admit that Macs can often be more resistant to the initial stages of wide-scale, sophisticated enterprise-level hacking attacks -- such as those seen with Operation Shady RAT -- than Windows machines. But the same experts point out that once a network has been compromised, Apple's server version of OS X offers little to stop further intrusion, according to a report from IT World.
Using BSD-licensed PostgreSQL instead
Apple has removed access to a built-in MySQL installation in the new Lion Server, released last week, and replaced it with PostgreSQL -- along with dropping a handful of other tools previously supported under Snow Leopard Server, which has caused some server admins much consternation, according to posts on Apple's support forums. Users do still have multiple options to use MySQL, however.
Responded to customer query on server's future
Yesterday, rumors began floating around the Mac community, initially published by HardMac, that Apple was in the process of deciding whether to phase out all of its "enterprise" offerings, eliminating the XSan and Final Cut Server products as it had done the XServe hardware (which will be discontinued as of this month). The report went on to speculate that OS X Server itself may be cut. By coincidence, a customer had asked Jobs in an e-mail in December if OS X Server was on the chopping block, and received a single-word answer: "No."