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Novell Introduces the NEST SDK 1.2

Articles and Tips: article

01 Jun 1996

Novell recently announced an enhanced version of its Novell Embedded Systems Technology (NEST) Software Developer's Kit. The new NEST SDK includes support for both IPX/SPX and TCP/IP protocols, as well as support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). With NEST, developers can incorporate NetWare protocols and services into intelligent devices, allowing the devices to participate as clients on the network. The NEST SDK is a complete solution that includes source code, documentation, training certification, test tools, and support.


Novell recently moved its Novell Embedded Systems Technology (NEST) beyond traditional local and wide area networks with the announcement of an enhanced version of the NEST Software Developer's Kit (SDK).

The NEST SDK 1.2, which shipped March 31, gives Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and developers a flexible, compact, affordable solution for creating products that can be plugged right into both private business networks and public global networks like the Internet.

The new NEST SDK includes support for the IPX/SPX protocols which are used to connect 55 million Novell NetWare users, and includes support for the TCP/IP protocols used to provide millions of users with access to the Internet.

In addition, new support for popular Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and NEST Autoroute global document routing gives developers and OEMs even wider options for integrating intelligent devices into today's internetworking solutions.

The NEST SDK is Novell's technology for accessing both public and private networks from intelligent devices of virtually every kind from office equipment such as fax machines, printers, and scanners to industrial controls and home devices such as TV set top boxes and security systems. Novell sees the greatest growth opportunities for NEST in integrating office equipment and energy management applications with LANs and the Internet.

More than 75 companies, including office equipment giants Canon, Hewlett Packard, Ricoh, and Xerox, are currently developing over 200 NEST enabled products, with several now shipping and dozens more to ship this year.

Novell is currently partnering with UtiliCorp United to develop a new class of energy management applications that will exchange information over conventional power lines and use public and private networks to relay energy use information between the utility and customer.

"We see the release of NEST SDK 1.2 as a significant advance in networking technology and look forward to using these new tools in the development of Smart Energy applications," said Philip A. Daddona, chief information officer for UtiliCorp United. "This release furthers the goals of all NEST partners in their shared commitment to open architecture."

Support for Internet Protocols and Open Networks

Novell's inclusion of TCP/IP in the NEST SDK 1.2 is further evidence of Novell's commitment to support multiple transport protocols and an open network environment. With both IPX/SPX and TCP/IP now part of the SDK, connectivity to the Internet and other enterprise wide public and private networks as well as Novell networks is now provided.

"By adding TCP/IP to the NEST SDK, Novell has increased our ability to deliver these capabilities to our customers expeditiously and cost effectively," said William Peisel, chief technology officer at Digital Products Inc. "This release represents a significant extension of NEST capabilities for our line of leading LAN based print servers.

John Enslow, acting vice president and general manager of Novell's Extended Networks Division said, "The market has been waiting for standard software to connect devices other than personal computers to the Internet.

NEST now fits that requirement by enabling solutions that will put office equipment and other intelligent devices on the Net. Imagine using the Internet to print a document to another city, or turn on your home security system from your office PC.

The new NEST SDK makes these solutions possible for the more than 75 companies developing with NEST today, as well as for any manufacturer looking to make their products part of the Internet explosion."

Support for SNMP

By including SNMP support in version 1.2 of the NEST SDK, Novell is offering OEMs the ability to integrate the de facto standard for managing devices on a network directly into their NEST enabled products. SNMP allows administrators to monitor and configure any device on their network from a central location through a standard third-party management tool such as an SNMP browser and by using any of the many SNMP enabled management products available today.

This greatly enhances the use and management of those devices, allowing users to preserve investments in SNMP solutions and reduce network management costs.

NEST Autoroute Included

The inclusion of NEST Autoroute demonstrates Novell's commitment to lowering the costs and the barriers of entry for OEMs wishing to work with the NEST SDK. Combining NEST Autoroute with the NEST SDK 1.2 makes it easier for developers to connect their devices to the network as well as take advantage of the global document routing capabilities of NEST Autoroute.

NEST Autoroute allows OEMs to add global document routing capabilities to existing and future fax, copy, scan, and print devices quickly, with minimal expense and without the addition of specialized phone equipment.

For example, NEST Autoroute enables faxes and scanned graphics to be automatically routed to a user's E mail box. It is capable of providing cost savings through the use of fax relay broadcasting, and can also provide least cost routing via the network.

"Inbound document routing has been available for ten years, but almost nobody used it because the solutions were proprietary, complex, and costly," said Enslow. NEST Autoroute provides a framework for addressing and routing faxed information, allowing OEMs to focus on ease of use and functionality."

"NEST is the key enabling technology that allows autorouting of documents to end users' desktops, stated David Weingard, director of business development for Cheyenne Software. "By incorporating NEST into FAXserve and BitWare, our two leading communications applications, Cheyenne provides the benefits of this technology to customers worldwide."

Frequently Asked Questions about the NEST SDK

Q: What is NEST?

A: With NEST, developers can incorporate NetWare protocols and services into intelligent devices, allowing the devices to participate as clients on the network. NEST is available to developers in the form of a Software Developer's Kit (SDK) and is a complete solution that includes source code, documentation, training, certification, test tools and support.

Intelligent devices that can be networked with NEST outship PCs by 12 to 1 and will out-number PCs by as much as 20 to 1 by the end of the century. Specific devices such as thermostats and light switches currently out-number PCs 1000 to 1.

Q: What is the Smart Global Network?

A: In Novell's vision, the world will be connected by a Smart Global Network, which will be as accessible as the telephone and provide a large percentage of the world's population with a nearly instantaneous digital link to global network resources.

Even before the world is connected, businesses will be connected to each other in a network community as seamless as today's LAN workgroup. All businesses from the smallest to the largest enterprise, will connect into the Smart Global Network, appearing as branch offices or a worldwide virtual enterprise.

Q: How does NEST relate to Novell's vision of Smart Global Networks?

A: NEST is an instrumental part of Novell's mission to network a billion connections by the year 2000 and is Novell's technology for connecting intelligent devices into the Smart Global Network. NEST, because it contains the client component of NetWare, brings NetWare's security, directory services, routing, and management capabilities to all intelligent devices.

NEST is a small, modular, and operating-system independent architecture that allows everything from home electronics to automobiles to communicate over computer networks.

NEST will enable users to take advantage of advanced Novell technologies like Novell Directory Services (NDS)-whether they are connecting from a home PC, a personal digital assistant (PDA), their car or their television set.

Q: What enhancements has Novell added to the NEST SDK 1.2?

A: The NEST SDK 1.2 provides all of the benefits of the NEST SDK 1.1 and continues to meet the needs of end users and OEMs by containing the following enhancements: TCP/IP, SNMP, and the NEST Autoroute SDK 1.0 (formerly available as a separate kit for an additional price).

Q: What is the benefit of including TCP/IP in the NEST SDK 1.2?

A: TCP/IP is fast emerging as a standard in today's enterprise networking environment and the desire to use TCP/IP protocols is growing in many of the markets where NEST is being implemented today (such as office automation). Novell's inclusion of TCP/IP in the NEST SDK 1.2 is further evidence of Novell's willingness to support multiple transport protocols and an open networking environment.

Now, with both IPX/SPX and TCP/IP support in the NEST SDK, a NEST partner can implement support for both of these protocols in their device. With Novell's Open Datalink Interface (ODI), both transports can run simultaneously.

Multiple protocol support within NEST allows increasingly easy access to both Novell networks, as well as the Internet and other public and private networks.

Q: What is the benefit of including SNMP in the NEST SDK 1.2?

A: SNMP, a non-proprietary management protocol widely used in many networking environments, facilitates the management of devices and objects on the network.

With the inclusion of SNMP in the NEST SDK 1.2, a NEST developer can implement SNMP support directly into their devices. Use and management of that device are greatly enhanced. The NEST SDK 1.2 provides support for an SNMP V1 agent over IPX and IP.

Q: What is the price of the NEST SDK 1.2?

A: Suggest retail price is $50,000.00 (US).

Q: Who are your NEST partners?

A: Since the NEST SDK shipped last February 1995, Novell has formed partnerships with over 60 industry leaders in numerous vertical markets.

Current partners include: Accelerated Technology, Andover Controls, ASP, Auco, Axis Communication, Canon, Card One, Castelle, Cheyenne, Colorbus, Digi International, Digital Products, EDIMAX Technology, Electronics for Imaging, Emulex, Extended Systems, Fujitsu, Future Systems, GCC Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, i-data international, Integrated Systems, Intel, Ishigaki Computer, ITV Communications, Japan Computer Industry, JMI Software Systems, Kelly Computer Systems, Kentek Information Systems, Kofax, Lantronics, Lexmark, Mannesmann Tally, Mitsubishi Electronic, Microware, Mita, Nisshin dinki, Pacific Data Products, PureData, QMS, Ricoh, Schweers Intec, Securicor Telecoms, Seiko-Epson, Sercomm, Technology Service Solutions, Tektronix, Tekram Technology, Tokyo Electric Design, Wind River Systems, and Xerox.

Over 75 more partnerships are in progress.

Q: How does NEST help devices like printers and fax servers that are already networked?

A: NEST provides previously networked devices the ability to communicate bilaterally with other nodes on the network. With NEST, these devices can share information with each other along a network and work collaboratively with users to increase functionality.

Q: What other services does NEST bring to devices besides a simple network connection?

A: Novell recognizes the opportunity to make workplace and consumer products more intelligent through a greater integration of those products with NetWare and NetWare services, including Novell Directory Services (NDS), NetWare Distributed Print Services (NDPS), NEST Autoroute, Telephony, NetWare Connect Services (NCS), and GroupWise.

NEST Autoroute

Q: What is the benefit of including NEST Autoroute in the NEST SDK 1.2?

A: The two software technologies are very synergistic. Combining the two makes it easier for developers to both connect their devices to the network as well as take advantage of the document routing capabilities of NEST Autoroute.

Q: What is NEST Autoroute?

A: NEST Autoroute, Novell's alternative routing methodology, lets users route faxes and other information across telephone lines, local area networks (LANs), and wide area networks (WANs) directly to a recipient's workstation environment.

The ground-breaking technology includes an alphanumeric code (or codes) with each fax transmission and adds functionality such as relay broadcasting to minimize traffic across WANs, polling for reverse faxing functions, and fax forwarding from the receiver end for those who travel to another location on the network.

Q: Isn't there a NEST Autoroute Hardware Specification Kit? Is this also now included in the NEST SDK 1.2?

A: Yes, there is a NEST Autoroute Hardware Specification Kit (HDK) but it will continue to be sold separately. This kit allows developers to add backward compatibility to the 75 million existing fax machines now in use around the world.

The NEST Autoroute HDK shows developers how to build an add-on NEST Autoroute Encoder box that offers NEST Autoroute functionality.

In addition, it contains complete documentation including internal and external hardware design specifications, timing diagrams, schematic drawings, and required software for the development of the NEST Autoroute Encoder box.

For further information and availability of the NEST Autoroute HDK, refer to the same contact information listed at the end of this article.

Q: Does there exist today other methodologies for routing data?

A: Yes. There are three. They include 1) Dual-tone Multi-frequency (DTMF) where a user dials a fax server number and is prompted with a tone or voice prompt to enter the subaddress via dial tones; 2) Direct inward dial (DID)-DID lines are ordered from the local telephone company and a direct dial phone number is assigned to each user for the single purpose of receiving faxes; and 3) Optical character recognition (OCR)-a fax device reads information off the cover page via OCR methods and attempts to find the routing information. Today's OCR technology works fairly well on typed information, but most cover sheets today are hand written. This is the least reliable method for routing data.

Q: How does NEST Autoroute differ from the above methods?

A: NEST Autoroute is a new additional method of subaddressing. NEST Autoroute 1) is non-phone systems dependent compared to DTMF or DID; 2) will tie directly into Novell Directory Services (NDS) centralized directories; 3) with the NEST Autoroute encoder box, is the only backwards-compatible routing solution available today; 4) is well defined and supports both alpha as well as numeric subaddressing and 5) subaddressing has subfields defined for new applications and added security for new non-standard format (NSF) applications.

Q: What type of modification is needed to existing and future fax machines?

A: NEST Autoroute is a software-only modification. For backwards compatibility, the NEST Autoroute program includes a hardware box specification (NEST Autoroute Hardware Developer's Kit).

The implementation requires a software update to the firmware in a facsimile device. In most cases time to market is a matter of weeks or a few months.

Q: If you don't have a NEST Autoroute-enabled fax machine, are you able to benefit from the data routing technology?

A: For NEST Autoroute to be effective, it needs to be on both the sender's and the receiver's facsimile devices. If one or the other's device is not NEST Autoroute compliant, then routing can be attempted through existing routing solutions (DTMF, DID, OCR or manual routing).

If a user with an existing facsimile machine wishes to participate with other NEST Autoroute devices and services, they simply purchase a NEST Autoroute encoder box from a NEST Autoroute partner.

This encoder box enables existing fax machines to participate on a NEST Autoroute network.

Q: If you currently own a standalone fax machine that operates with a desktop PC or notebook computer and want to take advantage of NEST Autoroute capabilities, will you need to buy new software and/or hardware to be compatible?

A: If you own software and/or hardware manufactured by a NEST Autoroute partner, you can contact them for a NEST Autoroute upgrade. Since NEST Autoroute is a software-only modification that works within the CCITT Group standard, you will not need to purchase new hardware.

Q: Can any other office equipment devices besides a fax machine benefit from the NEST Autoroute technology?

A: Novell envisions additional devices such as the following benefiting from NEST Autoroute: private ITN networks, digital copiers, digital printers, portable facsimile devices, LAN facsimile products, public facsimile networks, wide area networks and third party software products with a fax option.

Q: How does NEST Autoroute hook into Novell Directory Services (NDS)?

A: Since NDS is an integral part of NetWare 4, the concept of having a routing solution from Novell complements the concept of the centralized directory services. A user can locate a desired user's address on a network anywhere in the world by simply looking it up in NDS.

Q: If you are not on a network, how would you know a user's address?

A: A user's address can be placed on a person's business card the same way a fax number is printed.

Availability and Pricing

The NEST SDK 1.2 shipped in March, 1996 on CD ROM and includes source code, documentation, training, test tools, and support. It also includes five licenses for internal development and twenty-five licenses for beta testing. Additional licenses may be obtained by signing a distribution license agreement. Suggested retail price for the NEST SDK 1.2 is $50,000.00 (US). For more information, contact your Novell OEM Sales Representative or call 800/895 NEST, or 512/434 1518 outside the U.S.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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