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What is Bonjour?

What is Bonjour?

Not many people in this world know about the Bonjour software, let alone its capabilities. Read the following article to understand how this Apple's implementation works, along with its features and functionalities.
Veethi Telang
Zero-configuration networking allows automatic discovery of technological devices such as computers, printers, and other services on IP networks by using industry-standard IP protocols. It is with the help of these protocols that Bonjour enables automatic discovery of devices, without the need to enter IP addresses or even configure DNS servers. As for the compatibility of this software, it comes built-in with Apple's MAC OS X operating system, as well as iOS for Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iTunes, and iPad. Not only on Mac OS, but it can run on a Microsoft Windows' operating system if you have installed one.

Overview

Providing a general approach to discover services on LAN, Bonjour is extensively brought into use through Mac OS X, for it enables users to set up a network, with no need for any configuration. For now, this software is widely used for locating printers and servers that allow file sharing. For Apple iTunes and iPhoto, this software is invaluable. One can easily find shared photos, iChat, Skype, Adobe systems, and other software and share local recordings with multiple clients.

This software defines an entirely new protocol for discovering services, and it supports every application protocol layered on top of TCP/IP or UDP/IP. It works within a single broadcast domain or a small area, without any special Domain Name System (DNS) configuration. The developers of Apple computers have put forth source code for the Bonjour multicast DNS responder in order to build the responder daemon for a rather wide range of platforms that include Mac OS 9, OS X, Linux, Windows, and many more.

Capabilities

This software is used to discover information and the timely changes that it undergoes. Static, variable, and changed information is what it discovers, by notifying all the clients that are present on the local network about the change. For instance, consider iChat; when a person changes his status from Available to Offline, it notifies all the clients present on the local computer network about his/her status.

As for printers, the Bonjour Print Service allows discovery and configuration of Bonjour-enabled printers, with the help of Bonjour Printer Wizard. This service works with network printers, either over Wi-Fi or the Ethernet. If not Wi-Fi, it also works with USB printers that are shared via Mac or an AirPort base station.

As for non-technical users, this software is really not needed, as it is just beneficial for companies for their software to check for necessary updates. However, it could prove to be a useful technology that gets computer operating systems and devices work together. Both the computer, as well as the devices with Bonjour, broadcast their services, thereby offering their usage to others, too. Even, if you do not own a printer, your computer might just see a printer that is available for printing. On the other hand, you could just fetch an all new iTunes playlist to listen to, or do video-conferencing with a friend using iChat. Working with the most prominent connection technologies, bringing the use of standard IP networking protocols for its connections, and rendering ease in file sharing, this software indeed comes with a lot of functionalities.