I recently received this letter from reader Jim Blixt: “I am a contractor currently helping a Novell Inc. NetWare shop add a secured area to their intranet (Internet Information Server 4.0 on the NT network). They currently have a separate NT 4 domain for their intranet/Internet development team. They want to allow the NetWare users to authenticate to it without having to create user IDs for them in the NT Domain. I’m stumped. I know we can set up some sort of synchronization between platforms, but they really prefer to avoid creating multiple users IDs. Any ideas?”
I have a couple of suggestions. You already guessed the first one – which is to use some type of synchronization. Novell has a good product for this approach. It was originally known as Novell Directory Services for NT, but has since been renamed NDS Corporate Edition, and now it is known as NDS Account Manager. This product synchronizes the user accounts and passwords between systems. Although your customer would prefer not to create user IDs on both systems, I recommend this approach. NDS Account Manager makes the process pretty seamless. I doubt your customer will mind having user IDs on both systems once they see it in operation.
Another option is Apache for NetWare. I recently became aware of this during Novell’s Brainshare 2001 conference. Although this means that the intranet Web would reside on the Novell side of the network, it would prevent the need for duplicate user IDs. For those NT-only users, you may be able to use Microsoft’s GateWay Services for NetWare as a way to get them into the Web server for authentication purposes.