Novell gives away directory

To promote the use of its eDirectory architecture, Novell is giving the software freely to developers and ISVs.

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By  Jon Tullett Published  May 10, 2001

Novell has made a dramatic move to promote its eDirectory offering; giving it away free to developers and ISVs. Clearly hoping that giving away the foundations will encourage enterprises to buy the bricks that go on top, this is a move industry observers have been anticipating for some time.

EDirectory - previously NDS - is squaring up against Microsoft’s Active Directory and .Net initiative, and needs to gain momentum to stave off steady attrition.

"Directories will play a central role in the future of the Net because of their ability to manage and secure user identities as well as bridge access between intranets, extranet, and the Internet. The directory is the foundation for Novell's Net services software," said Carl Ledbetter, chief technology officer and senior vice president, business and corporate development, Novell, Inc. "By giving eDirectory away for free to our key equipment and development partners, Novell is furthering directories as the basic underlying infrastructure of the Net.”

Directory services allow businesses to centrally store, manage, and secure user identities and information wherever it resides on a network. With XML schemas in the mix, this reach is extended beyond the enterprise, and across disparate directories. Although the market uptake of directories has been less stellar than Novell (or Microsoft) would like, it is still likely that the management advantages will encourage the market to develop in the future.

Novell’s OneNet vision of unifying network services relies heavily on the directory – promoting adoption of eDirectory is essential. Whether it can effectively compete for mind share with Microsoft remains to be seen, but giving all the tools to developers and ISVs is a step in the right direction.

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