Apple has fought an ardent battle to make the Mac an accepted player on the corporate desktop. Despite the fact that only 9% of enterprises today rely on the Mac as their desktop standard, recent changes in Apple's long-term strategy may increase that number. The company is making headway in intranets and the Internet, increasing the need for you to integrate your Macintosh clients into the rest of your enterprise network. Enter Windows NT Server 4.0 with its Services for Macintosh.

NT Server 4.0­like 3.51 before it­supplies Services for Macintosh as part of its base set of features. Services for Macintosh provides file and print services for the Mac using native AppleTalk protocols, support for AppleTalk routing, and Microsoft-based encrypted authentication for your Mac clients.

What's New in NT 4.0?
The changes to NT Server 4.0's Services for Macintosh are mostly cosmetic as compared to 3.51. In 3.51, to manage Macintosh-accessible resources on your server, you installed Services for Macintosh from the Network applet in Control Panel and used the Macfile Applet, with Server Manager and File Manager. In 4.0, Explorer replaces File Manager but doesn't include any controls for Services for Macintosh. In 4.0, Services for Macintosh still requires use of File Manager to manage some features, including file associations and file and directory permissions. My biggest complaint in an otherwise easy-to-use service is the lack of a single interface for managing Services for Macintosh.

Here's a list of the utilities in NT Server 4.0 that let you manage the Services for Macintosh and the functions they provide.

  • Server Manager: You can use the Macfile menu choice, as you see in Screen A, to view the same Macfile applet as in the Network Control Panel. You can also view, create, and remove any defined Mac-accessible folders on the server and set passwords and permissions on them, and you can send a message to all Macs connected to the server.
  • File Manager: You can use the Macfile menu choice to perform the same folder creation, removal, and security functions as in Server Manager. You can also set file associations so that files on the server with MS-DOS three-character extensions correspond to a Macintosh application. This capability guarantees that a Word .DOC file, for example, appears on the Mac's finder with the proper Word for Macintosh icon.
  • Macfile Control Panel Applet: This applet gives you information about the status of and provides controls for Services for Macintosh on your server. You can view which Mac users are connected (and optionally disconnect them), which Mac-accessible folders are in use and by whom, and which files are in use and by whom. From the Attributes button, you can set logon security, limit the number of sessions, and even rename the NT Server as it appears to the Mac.
  • Network Control Panel: By double-clicking the Services for Macintosh listing in the Services Property page, you can configure the default zone and AppleTalk routing options.
  • Macfile Command Line: If you're a command-line person, you can perform all the above functions from one place by using the Macfile command. This command lets you create and remove folders and set global service options and directory permissions. It even includes the forkize option to manipulate data and resource forks on Mac files.