Active Channel Server

Definition of Active Channel Server in The Network Encyclopedia. (old tech)

What is Active Channel Server?

Active Channel Server was a component of Microsoft Site Server 3.0 that lets Web content developers create, manage, and deliver Channel Definition Format (CDF) files. These files specify the channel’s structure and update frequency. Users receive channels utilizing a standard Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and later.

Active Channel Server supports both content channels and software channels. Content channels contain a collection of theme-based Web pages or other documents. Software channels contain program files and offer users new software and software updates.

Active Channel Server uses Active Channel Agents to collect content items from a specified source and organize them into channels. These agents are scripts that can automatically update channel content items according to a specified schedule.

Active Channel Server
Old Microsoft Site Server, with Active Channel Technology

Active Channel Agents can collect content from

  • A shared directory on the network
  • Any open database connectivity (ODBC) – compliant database such as Microsoft SQL Server
  • Indexing Service
  • Site Server Commerce databases
  • Site Server Search catalogs
  • Knowledge Manager shared knowledge briefs
  • Active Channel Server can also use third-party agents or custom agent scripts to gather content from other sources.

Users then configure their Web browsers to either alert them when new channel content is available or automatically download the new content. If software channels are used, software can be automatically downloaded and installed on user machines.