Insider Software has announced FontAgent Pro Server 4, an upgrade to its server software targeted to the enterprise sector of the font management market. Available now, it features font-usage tracking, live backup, automatic failover server access, Kerberos single sign-on support, and directory services enhancements.

FontAgent Pro Server 4 features a real-time font-usage manager that reveals who has access to libraries and fonts and when they activate and deactivate them. Administrators can use a scripting language to save this data in various file formats for deeper analysis in Excel, report scripts, databases, asset management, and accounting programs. These statistics assist organizations with monitoring their compliance with license agreements, tracking font usage by person or project, and avoiding font-license compliance audits.

This new release includes live backup services for a customer's entire database of fonts, users, and groups to ensure that fonts are continuously available. Administrators can set the frequency and time of backups and can add font-server archiving into current backup scripts and processes. The backup manager archives files to any networked or local drive and provides the tools to easily restore a server to a previous state.

Failover services allow FontAgent Pro clients to automatically connect to alternative servers when their primary font server is unavailable. That feature, combined with the program's server replication function, makes it a good choice for multi-server environments, the company says.

FontAgent Pro Server 4 delivers faster Active Directory, Open Directory and LDAP synchronization with improved support for nested groups, standalone users, keychain-based password protection, and non-standard directory setups. It also includes more flexible user permissions that include group administrators and multi-level roles that can control which users can upload fonts, create users and groups, edit licenses, upload and edit sets, upload and edit font libraries, assign fonts and users to groups, and view font usage information.

When users connect to FontAgent Pro Server 4, it checks whether they have previously validated their login via the Kerberos network authentication protocol. If not, FontAgent Pro asks them to enter their user name and password, and sign-on occurs automatically with no additional configuration.

FontAgent Pro Server 4 works with Mac OS X 10.4 or later and requires 30MB of disk space and 256MB of memory. The program is compatible with a range of Macintosh hardware, from dual G4 Macintosh computers up to Apple's Mac Pro and Xserve multi-processor systems. It does not require dedicated server hardware and lets administrators fine-tune performance to compensate for varying speeds on enterprise networks.

FontAgent Pro Server is $1,695 (around £1,100); the upgrade price is $850 (£550) for users of Version 2 or later. Each user connecting to the server requires a licensed version of the FontAgent Pro connected client, whose suggested price is $130 (£84) per seat.