Novell updates directory

Novell Inc. announced Tuesday that it has shipped the next version of its directory management software, eDirectory, which helps IT managers integrate user and resource information among networks.

EDirectory 8.7, first announced last March and in beta tests since, now runs on IBM Corp.’s AIX operating system and can be managed from a variety of wireless and Web-based devices. In addition, Novell announced two programs designed to entice users of other directories to migrate to eDirectory.

EDirectory already runs on NetWare, Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT/2000, Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Solaris, Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Tru64 Unix, Linux and IBM Corp. S/390 mainframes. The addition of AIX to this arsenal is meant to capture users of IBM’s AS/400 and RS/6000 servers and allow them to integrate their legacy applications with those of other networks.

Novell is also offering eDirectory free to users of the Sun ONE Directory Server and says it will also extend the offer to users of Microsoft’s Active Directory. With the offer, IT managers will receive 250,000 licenses to eDirectory and 25,000 user license for Novell’s DirXML Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) driver at no charge. The DirXML LDAP driver lets IT managers connect to any application that makes use of LDAP. DirXML is Novell’s metadirectory, which is based on XML and allows for connections to be made between applications.

Further, Novell is adding the capability to use role-based administration to manage the directory, and is adding a utility, Novell iManager, to let users manage the directory from a Web browser and a variety of handheld devices. In role-based administration, different levels of administrators can be set up – for instance, a user whose sole role is to change user passwords could be created. While the iManager remote administration utility has been available before with NetWare 6, its functionality has not been equal to the slower ConsoleOne utility. Previously, iManager only had limited Web-based monitoring.

Novell’s eDirectory 8.7 is available for approximately $3 per user, according to Novell Canada. Novell has claimed that this price is negotiable and that customers who buy other Novell products will receive eDirectory at no charge. The product is available now.

Novell’s eDirectory has been a popular choice for networked management and administration. Novell claims there are 139 million users of eDirectory. International Data Corp. (IDC) in Framingham, Mass. says that 80 per cent of Fortune 1000 companies using a directory service use eDirectory.

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