Mac OS X Server 10.5 'Leopard' will go on sale on Friday, 26 October, at the same time as Mac OS X Leopard.

Leopard Server augments the OS improvements of Mac OS X 10.5 with a selection of other enhancements, such as Podcast Producer which automatically publishes podcasts to iTunes or the web.

The new server OS also offers Wiki Server, a feature which lets people collaboratively create and modify their shared web sites; and iCal Server, the world’s first commercial CalDAV standard-based calendar server.

Wiki Server has 20 Apple-designed web page themes and provides a complete revision history to make it easy to restore previous entries and merge or compare different versions.

Leopard Server presents new features for effortless setup, management and monitoring of systems on the network. Server Assistant configures server applications, network settings such as IP addresses and DNS configurations and user accounts with just a few clicks. Server Preferences simplifies management of users, groups and key server applications, and a Server Status Dashboard widget remotely monitors activity and usage.

The software also eliminates the need to manually set up clients by automatically configuring client applications, including file sharing, Mail, iChat, iCal, Address Book and VPN from user information stored on the server.

“Leopard Server is the best release of Mac OS X Server yet, bringing more great innovations, like Podcast Producer, Wiki Server and iCal Server,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With new setup features that have a server up and running within minutes and no client access licenses, Leopard Server is the ideal alternative to complicated and expensive server offerings for small and large businesses.”

Leopard Server is fully UNIX compliant and its core services, including Apache 2, MySQL 5, Postfix, Podcast Producer and QuickTime Streaming Server, are 64-bit, allowing users to work with larger data sets and take full advantage of the performance and processing power of their 64-bit hardware. Since Leopard Server is fully 32-bit compatible, users can run 32-bit and 64-bit applications natively side-by-side.

Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard will cost £319 (including VAT) for a 10-client edition and £629 (including VAT) for an unlimited-client edition. An unlimited client license of Leopard Server is included with Apple’s Xserve.