NIS+ provides Interoperability features designed for upgrading from NIS and for continuing the interaction with DNS originally provided by the NIS service. To help convert from NIS, NIS+ provides an NIS-compatibility mode and an information-transfer utility. The NIS-compatibility mode enables an NIS+ server running in the Solaris operating environment to answer requests from NIS clients while continuing to answer requests from NIS+ clients. The information-transfer utility helps administrators keep NIS maps and NIS+ tables synchronized.
NIS-compatibility mode requires slightly different setup procedures than those used for a standard NIS+ server. Also, NIS-compatibility mode has security implications for tables in the NIS+ namespace. These differences and implications are described in Solaris Naming Setup and Configuration Guide and Solaris Naming Administration Guide.
NIS client machines can have their unsatisfied host requests forwarded to DNS if you run rpc.nisd with the -Y -B options, but the NIS+ server will not forward these requests for an NIS+ client. DNS request forwarding for NIS+ client machines is controlled by the /etc/resolv.conf and /etc/nsswitch.conf files' configurations. See Solaris Naming Administration Guide for more information.
Authorized NIS+ administrators can use the passwd command to perform the full range of password-related administrative tasks, including password aging and locking. NIS+ client users can use the passwd command to change their own passwords.
Even if all the servers on a local subnet no longer respond, the NIS+ client machines can still have their name service calls answered if they can contact any of the replicas of that domain. NIS client machines do not have access to information on the network outside their subnet unless the server names have been set with ypset or, for Solaris NIS clients only, with ypinit.
NIS client machines cannot be sure that the data they are receiving comes from an authorized NIS server, while authorized NIS+ clients are certain that the data is coming from an authorized NIS+ server.
Under NIS, if the server is no longer responding, the NIS yp_match() call continues to retry this call until the server responds and answers the request. The NIS+ API (Application Programming Interface) returns an error message to the application when this situation occurs.
In the Solaris 2.3 and later releases, the NIS-compatibility mode supports DNS forwarding. In the Solaris 2.2 release, support for DNS forwarding is available as a patch (patch #101022-06). The DNS forwarding patch is not available in the Solaris 2.0 and 2.1 releases.
Although an NIS+ domain cannot be connected to the Internet directly, the NIS+ client machines can be connected to the Internet with the name service switch. The client can set up its switch-configuration file (/etc/nsswitch.conf) to search for information in either DNS zone files or NIS maps--in addition to NIS+ tables.