Opera today unveiled Opera Unite, a new technology that shakes up the old client-server computing model of the Web. Opera Unite turns any computer into both a client and a server, allowing it to interact with and serve content to other computers directly across the Web, without the need for third-party servers.
Opera Unite is a unique technology that turns any computer or device running Opera into a Web server. In other words, your computer (running Opera Unite) is truly part of the fabric of the Web, rather than just interacting with it, and it’s something anyone can use. With Opera Unite, everyday non-technical users can serve and share content and services directly from their own computers in the form of intuitive applications.
Opera Unite makes serving data as simple and easy as browsing the Web. For consumers, Opera Unite services give greater control of private data and make it easy to share data with any device equipped with a modern Web browser.
Traditionally, when a user runs a Web server in a home network, the network has a device that acts as a firewall, which needs to be configured separately, as illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: A traditional Web server setup
Typically, the user will need to open ports and enable port forwarding to a local computer in order for people outside the firewall to be able to access the server.
However, when the user is using Opera Unite, no configuration is needed, as seen in Figure 2.
Figure 2: The set up when using the Opera Unite server in your browser
The Web server initiates a connection to the proxy, which uses this to pass information back about incoming requests.
For Web developers, Opera Unite services are based on the same open Web standards as Web sites today. This dramatically simplifies the complexity of authoring cutting-edge Web services. With Opera Unite, creating a full Web service is now as easy as coding a Web page.
Opera Unite is available in a special version of the Opera 10 desktop browser from Opera Labs. Opera Unite services run directly in the browser.
It is easy to use Opera Unite
- Download the Opera Unite build from http://labs.opera.com/.
- To start Opera Unite, click the Opera Unite logo in the lower left-hand corner of the browser and log in with your existing Opera ID — the same Opera ID used for other Opera services such as My Opera and Opera Link. Opera Unite will prompt you to register an Opera ID if you do not have one.
- Now you are ready to use Opera Unite. Simply access your Opera Unite services from the Opera Unite panel of the browser. New services can be installed from http://unite.opera.com/.
- Running a service will give you a direct Web address to the Opera Unite service on your device, for example: http://notebook.jondoe.operaunite.com/photo_sharing/, where “notebook” is the name of the local device serving content, “jondoe” is your username, and “photo_sharing” is the Web service being accessed. That link will also allow others to access the same Web service from your computer through their Web browser.
- You may also see which friends are using Opera Unite services on your My Opera Unite home page.
Current Opera Unite services are as follows:
Securely share a file from your personal computer without waiting to upload it. First select the folder from which you would like to share files. Opera Unite then generates a direct URL to that folder. By giving that link to your friends, you can share files without routing through a third-party Web service.
Run entire Web sites from your local computer with the Opera Unite Web Server. After selecting the folder containing your Web site, you can share and host it from the given Opera Unite URL. Opera Unite will automatically recognize index files and create the Web site as you designed it.
Rock out wherever you are by accessing your MP3s and playlists from any machine. After selecting the folder containing your playlist, use the Opera Unite direct link to play your tracks directly in any modern Web browser.
Share your photos direct from your PC, without uploading them online. Once you select your photo folder, the photo-sharing service will create a thumbnail image gallery of your photos. Clicking the thumbnail will present the photo in its original resolution.
The Lounge is a self-contained chat service running on your computer. Your friends can access the chat room via the direct link, which will not require them to sign into any service. Depending on your privacy settings, you need only provide the generated password to your service in order for people to log in to your chatroom.
Post a note on your friends’ virtual refrigerators. By sharing the direct link to your refrigerator, you and your friends, family or colleagues can exchange notes securely and privately in real time.
These six services represent the beginning of what is possible. Web developers can unleash their creativity to design unique Web services and, in doing so, unlock the full potential of Opera Unite.
Check out below video for more details: