Computerworld has published a study of Apple's forthcoming Mac OS X 10.3 Server operating system.

The piece looks at the features of the Panther upgrade, particularly improvements to Open Directory, and the way the OS runs authentication protocols.

One major Open Directory change – scalability – means Mac OS X Server will be able to replicate across multiple servers, so that in excess of 100.000 users will be able to be listed in the Open Directory database. Open Directory's administration tools have also been improved.

Samba support also gets attention in the report: "Samba means Mac OS X Server will be able to participate in a Windows domain, as well as support authentication across both platforms with no need to change the schema of either Open or Active Directory. Roaming profiles and individual user preferences will also be supported."

The report adds that Panther Server will offer new support for notebook Macs, and that remote administrators will be able to create server-setup configuration files to store on local, removable or network drives.