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NetBIOS Applications

Just as there are file- and print-sharing mechanisms, there are also generic network applications that communcicate between multiple systems. In the TCP/IP world, these applications are FTP, the World Wide Web, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and many others. In the Windows for Workgroups world, these applications are generally NetBIOS-based, and not TCP/IP-based.

Two of the NetBIOS applications that come with Windows for Workgroups include the Chat and ClipBook applets. They allow users to connect with other NetBIOS systems and exchange data. These programs do NOT use SMBs since they are not tied in to the redirector. However, they are similar to the redirector/server model since they are node-to-node communcations. They can use a common set of commands similar to SMBs, but these commands are determined by the applications themselves.

NetBIOS applications range from the simple Chat-like applets to mainframe gateways and multi-user databases. Any application that needs to communicate with another can use the NetBIOS APIs to do so. Lotus' Notes server for Windows is a NetBIOS application, for example. Also, Microsoft Mail for Windows NT can support NetBIOS. This allows one NT mail client to notify another client that new mail has been sent, using a NetBIOS message. The normal method requires that the recipient workstation check the inbox on a fileserver's shared drive for any unread messages.

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