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Jolt Awards

The 14th Annual Software Development Jolt and Productivity Awards


Network Probe 1.0

While not a programmers’ tool, per se, Oslo, Norway-based ObjectPlanet’s Network Probe is nonetheless a very competent and intuitive way to see what’s going on across your network. First, you configure Network Probe’s server to collect the details. Then you can use its Java-based client application with any Java-enabled Web browser to view the results in real time. In our tests, Network Probe captured a tremendous amount of data and displayed it in what seemed like an endless variety of ways. Generating real-time views of protocols in use, Internet conversations and filtered traffic reports was easy. There are tables and graphs, and all the sorting and searching capabilities you would expect, as well as the ability to do simple exports. You can also automatically configure Network Probe to save its statistics daily so that reporting on a past period or comparing your metrics is straightforward. We were glad to see that the company thoughtfully includes an automatic (and configurable) cleanout tool, too, as this is the kind of data that can grow rapidly. For network monitoring or tracking down errant traffic, Network Probe is a winner.

—Robert A. DelRossi

“We’re very honored with this Jolt Award. It’s great to see that a development team of only two people can create something that 250,000 people have downloaded and found useful.”

—Bjorn Kvande, President

Reactivity 2300 Series XML Firewall

Who knows what evil lurks in your SOAP payload? Belmont, Calif.-based Reactivity’s firewall does. Use the hardware appliance as a front-end XML proxy, living in the “public” part of your network, and let it screen the SOAP calls, XML data and metadata before they hit your apps—or leave your secure network. While you’ll want to add authentication testing to your apps, the Reactivity box acts as a front line of defense. It also handles encryption and decryption of the payload, digital signature verification and other security checks. While you could add those functions to your own apps, it’s easier (and less computationally expensive) to outsource the crypto to a dedicated system. Full logging, traffic prioritization, fail-over and load balancing will help endear the firewall to sys admins, while the built-in crypto algorithms and support for .NET and J2EE will simplify your project requirements.

—Alan Zeichick

eSafe 4.0
Aladdin Knowledge Systems

Computers were promised to be labor-saving. Then came spam, viruses, spyware and blended threats of all three. Fortunately, Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Aladdin offers eSafe, a corporate gateway that filters out all these nuisances, restoring the promise of productivity. As well, it hunts for the demons of instant messages, peer-to-peer file transfer nets, HTTP tunneling, adware, malicious URLs and potentially unpatched Windows OS exploits.

While many competitive solutions rely on predefined “signatures” to detect malicious packet streams, eSafe has a heuristic mechanism that literally executes a suspicious object in a virtual machine and notes the effects. Should they be less than salubrious, eSafe sends the object to that great bit bucket in the sky. Handling up to 108,000 e-mails per hour per scalable box, that’s good riddance.

—Roland Racko

OrangeSpam 1.0.3

OrangeSpam isn’t an application, but a sophisticated software development kit for adding spam detection to your programs. That assumes, of course, that you’re building things like antivirus software, firewalls or messaging systems.

OrangeSpam, which builds on Burlington, Mass.-based Cobion’s OrangeFilter technology, works to detect spam rather holistically; it’s not one test, but a battery of static and dynamic approaches that can incorporate the company’s extensive online database of known spam techniques and offenders. OrangeSpam can work at advanced levels, analyzing text in graphics, scanning for logos, and even performing what it calls “recognition of nakedness” in its search for spam. During my tests, I found that OrangeSpam did a very good job at content analysis, finding spam that other filters did not.

—Robert A. DelRossi

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