NCP is a very powerful protocol as it is the only protocol that mixes file, directory, and application information in an organized and secure way.

ChromeBooks running ChromeOS are wildly popular in K-12 at the moment -- we have many thousands now, with many thousands more ordered.

While Filr and NetStorage provide good access to files from OES to ChromeOS, the rest of the functionality is not available. A webified NCP solution would add a lot of potential functionality to ChromeOS.


  • Since everybody moves away from NCP and to CIFS/SMB (or to the "cloud" for the matter) I doubt there is any chance this will ever happen. NCP has been tried on both OSX and as a Linux client but both are not developed anymore as this is just too complex to maintain (takes too many resources vs the amount of users). You would be always running behind and catching up case new kernel updates appear breaking the NCP functionality in between. The idea of a Cromebook is that you make use of "cloud-services".

    I think a good set of collaboration clients/apps (like Filr) add a lot more value for users as a frond-end for (web)services in the "cloud" (your DC). Maybe you really want to open files over CIFS/SMB (assuming a Chromebook is able to do that) a solution could be that if a user with a Chromebook is on-site and the Filr App could "see" that a file can be opened directly over CIFS/SMB vs downloading a copy over HTTP. That would even work on a Windows desktop with Novell client opening the file then over NCP or SMB/CIFS running DSFW/NSS-for-AD. This is functionality that has been talked about in the past but is not really on the Filr radar at this point.

    I think MF would argue Filr is the Webified version of NCP and more, as it provides access to multiple store backends with a single client.

  • The beauty of NCP is that it handles much more than file sharing--it is a full toolbox in a single protocol. Filr only does file sharing. The architecture of Filr is much more (needlessly) complex than the architecture of NCP. Filr's functionality can be trivially copied by competition, but NCP cannot. If MF thinks that Filr is the webified version of NCP, it only indicates that they do not understand NCP. If I wanted horrible Javascript-based file sharing, there are a variety of free solutions that are much more effective than Filr.

    NCP allows a client to combine multiple client/server operations into a single, efficient connection. It provides not only authentication and authorization but also full directory information and the ability to ask the server to perform work on its behalf. This is a very powerful combination.

    A MF file-sharing solution with NCP has no reason to exist.

  • Correction: A MF file-sharing solution WITHOUT NCP has no reason to exist.