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Sybari Expands Antigen to SharePoint

The third-party ecosystem around Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server grew on Tuesday when Sybari Software Inc. unveiled an anti-virus and content filtering solution for the document store in Microsoft's enterprise portal server.

Sybari, which makes Antigen for Microsoft Exchange and Antigen for Lotus Domino, is now shipping Antigen for Microsoft SharePoint.

For Sybari, the decision to offer a product protecting SharePoint Portal Server is a logical move within its core competence in groupware.

"We've been working as a company since 1995 with Lotus. The combination of Exchange and SharePoint really meets the feature set of Domino," says Tom Buoniello, vice president of product management at Sybari. "It's a low barrier for us to get into."

With Microsoft claiming about 3 million users of its SharePoint Portal Server 2001 in the year since its release, Buoniello says the market is big enough to justify Sybari getting involved. Anti-virus vendor Trend Micro also recently rolled out a SharePoint product.

Sybari and Trend Micro appear to be latched onto a market poised for massive growth, according to researchers at IDC. IDC released a study on Tuesday projecting that the enterprise information portal software market will grow from $550 million in 2001 to $3.1 billion in 2006.

SharePoint has two parts, a document store to allow knowledge workers to collaborate and share work, and a search and index function. Sybari focuses purely on the document store side. According to Buoniello, anti-virus software is necessary since virus-infected documents can land in the store and infect everyone who opens them.

"Customers are looking for server-side protection because clients sometimes disable virus protection or don't keep it up to date," he says.

Like Sybari's Exchange product, Antigen for SharePoint relies on other anti-virus vendors' engines for actual virus discovery and definitions. Antigen users by default can choose from two engines from among anti-virus engines offered by Computer Associates, McAfee, Sophos, Norman Data Defense and Kaspersky AVP.

Many customers will already have an enterprise license for one of the anti-virus engines, Buoniello notes, meaning that an estimated 80 percent of Sybari customers can have three anti-virus engines running simultaneously.

Running multiple anti-virus engines means companies tend to be protected against more viruses. If one vendor is faster to market with a definition for a particular new virus, the customer is protected, the theory goes.

According to Sybari, its scanning is quicker than the single-engine anti-virus vendors because it runs in memory in the native file format rather than writing attachments and messages out to disk and scanning them there.

While Antigen for SharePoint is based on Antigen for Exchange, one key difference is notification. While the Exchange-scanning product has an e-mail name for a user with an infected attachment, there is no such obvious way to notify a SharePoint user, who may be accessing a document without being logged onto an Exchange server.

Sybari addressed the problem in three steps. Administrators can be notified via e-mail when a document in the SharePoint store is infected, users running the SharePoint desktop can be notified via a Web part, and Sybari can append the infection information to the document's description field so it shows up in a directory of documents through SharePoint.

One other potential SharePoint problem, Sybari is trying to address is filtering unauthorized music files such as MP3s or movie trailers in .AVI formats to keep them from piling up in the SharePoint store. "People don't want SharePoint to become a company jukebox," Buoniello says.

Sybari charges $995 per server and has a volume licensing plan for clients that starts at $18 per CAL.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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