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network transparency

Reading and/or writing to resources on the network (folders, files, printers, etc.) as if they were attached locally. Either built into the operating system or a separate file sharing component, network transparency implies that there is no additional effort required by the user or by the application to access a remote device than a local one. They all appear as one pool of resources. See file sharing protocol.



file sharing protocol

A high-level network protocol that provides the structure and language for file requests between clients and servers. It provides the commands for opening, reading, writing and closing files across the network and may also provide access to the directory services. Sometimes called a "client/server protocol," it functions at the application layer (layer 7 of the OSI model).

In order for a client to have access to multiple servers running different operating systems, either the client supports the file sharing protocol of each operating system or the server supports the file sharing protocol of each client. Software that adds this capability is very common and allows interoperability between Windows, Macintosh, NetWare and Unix platforms. See Samba. See also peer-to-peer network.


   Operating   File Sharing
   System      Protocol

   Windows     CIFS, SMB

   DOS         SMB

   Mac         AFP

   NetWare     NCP

   Unix        NFS, Samba





Sharing Files on a Mac
This is part of the Mac OS X sharing dialog that enables Macs to share files with other Macs (AFP) and Windows machines to see the files on the Mac (SMB).






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