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Novell Removes Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Directory Services

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01 Jan 1997

Novell Removes Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Directory Services

In November, Novell announced an aggressive distribution strategy for Novell Directory Services (NDS) to accelerate its adoption by the industry's leading operating system vendors, creating a common directory service across heterogenous environments. Starting immediately, operating system developers can obtain a royalty free source code and distribution license for NDS. Novell also disclosed its plans to offer a royalty free binary distribution license for NDS on NT.

As a cross platform directory service, NDS provides a single point of access and management, increasing user productivity, reducing network administration costs and easing application development. In parallel with the new distribution strategy, Novell and its partners are creating new businesses through the licensing of replication, file, print, certificates and other directory based products as add ons to NDS.

"NDS is years ahead of other directories in terms of technology and market share," said Tom Arthur, vice president and general manager of Novell's Internet Infrastructure Division. "Novell understands that the value of a network directory depends on the extent of its adoption. While other vendors are hoping to make a business of selling directories as servers or embedding them in proprietary operating systems, Novell is taking a different approach and seeding the market with NDS for directory based applications and services."

Novell is committed to integrating NDS into all major server platforms. The company has taken the first step by allowing the NDS source code to be licensed by industry leading operating system providers, royalty free. The company will also distribute a single server binary version of NDS on NT over the Internet and through agreements with independent software vendors (ISVs) and independent hardware vendors (IHVs). Partnerships with major ISVs and IHVs will be announced over the next several months.

Customer Benefits

Novell's platform independent directory strategy will significantly increase user productivity by making it easier to find information on the network, regardless of where the information resides (corporate networks, intranets and the Internet). The directory will also help administrators to decrease network administration costs by reducing the time and complexity of managing disparate corporate networks.

"As one of the world's largest network integrators we have been providing NDS solutions in the NetWare environment for many years," said Stan Ratcliffe, vice president of EDS' Client/Server Group. "We are very encouraged to see that NDS is becoming widely available on Unix and NT, thus providing simpler access, administration and development for heterogeneous networking systems."

"The availability of NDS on multiple operating systems gives us an opportunity that we've never had before to merge disparate platforms in our company under a single directory service," said Lee Roth, LAN Systems group leader, Southwest Airlines.

NDS is an Open Directory

By basing NDS on X.500 naming, Novell anticipated the industry's adoption of industry standards thus allowing NDS to be one of the first directories to offer LDAP support. To further its commitment to open standards, Novell plans to open NDS access APIs to Internet/intranet standards and ruling committees. The API documentation for NDS, including all of the directory service APIs for both client and service facilities are openly available on Novell's Web site at

Developer Benefits

Developers will finally be able to exploit new market opportunities by creating networked applications that leverage the performance benefits of distributed computing. NDS enables networked applications to share objects, such as Java applets, across networks, including intranets and the Internet. Novell's plans to openly distribute NDS, and its commitment to LDAP and X.500, offer a compelling, open environment for developing directory enabled applications. Novell is also offering developers the opportunity to bundle NDS with their applications.

This will provide the administration and security features they require, thus reducing the time and expense to develop and implement user account databases. With its directory services strategy, Novell provides a common directory infrastructure for developers to incorporate LDAP compliant directory services into their networked applications and solutions, paving the way for developers to designate NDS as the LDAP directory of choice.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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