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Apple uses local company's software

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Alan Oppenheimer, founder and president of Open Door Networks, an Ashland software company, is excited by Apple Computer's decision to include his company's Internet file-sharing software in its new operating system and on the new version of

New iMac incorporates Ashland firm's ShareWay IP

The new Macintosh operating system unveiled by Apple Computer this week comes with software developed by an Ashland-based company.

Open Door Networks' ShareWay IP, which allows Mac users to share files easily over the Internet, will be included in Apple's Mac OS 9 operating system.

It's a good deal for us, says Open Door founder and president Alan Oppenheimer. We get a lot of identity and exposure. We're hoping that the recognition from Apple is going to send lots of business our way.

Apple showcased the new operating system -- the central program that controls computers -- Tuesday at the same time it released the latest version of its iMac personal computer, which will feature Mac OS 9.

The key feature of the new operating system is improved interaction with the Internet, something ShareWay IP plays a direct role in. The program makes it possible for Mac users to share files across both the Internet and intranets (smaller local computer networks) easily and quickly.

The Mac has always had really good file-sharing but there's always been a fundamental limitation, Oppenheimer says. The limitation was that Mac files could be shared only over networks that ran AppleTalk -- Apple's networking software.

Oppenheimer, who founded Open Door Networks in 1995, is no stranger to AppleTalk. He helped create it in the mid 1980s during an 11-year stint working for Apple.

The Internet uses a different type of network software and as the Internet has emerged as the dominant networking force, users have been phasing out AppleTalk networks for Internet Protocol ones, Oppenheimer says.

His company has spent the past few years working with corporations and universities to make that transition smoothly and expand the potential of the Internet for Mac users. Its slogan is Internet solutions as easy to use as the Macintosh itself.

In fact, ShareWay IP has been on the market for about two years. But its inclusion with Apple's operating system will greatly expand its use.

working with Apple, we've been able to make these solutions available to all Mac users as a fundamental, integrated part of the Mac OS, Oppenheimer says. We're intensely proud of this accomplishment.

Oppenheimer won't disclose financial information about the deal with Apple but did say that the real financial opportunity isn't the mere inclusion of the program.

He expects the major gains to be made in selling other products -- including an upgrade of ShareWay IP. The upgrade includes additional security features to insure that files are protected while they are being shared over the Internet.

Though success with Apple is nothing new for Oppenheimer, he says it's gratifying for his company to be chosen by the computer giant.

It feels really good to be able to make a contribution as an outside company, he says. I'm proud we were able to do something for Apple and the Apple community.

the iMac computer, unveiled Tuesday.