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Java and NDS Integration

Articles and Tips: article

01 Apr 1997

Java is quickly achieving recognition as the universal programming language ideally suited for networked applications. Novell Directory Services (NDS) is the only directory service that offers broad cross-platform support and the security and scalability necessary for large, distributed applications that can be developed for business intranets and the Internet with Java.

Directory Services Are Key To Intranet/Internet Implementation Without a scalable, robust, easily implemented directory service, the ability to access and manage the variety of information about users, machines, networks, services, and applications necessary to handle Internet and intranet support would exceed the capabilities of the people managing the networks. As enterprise computing environments grow more complex, administrators and end-users alike need logical, consistent ways to find and identify objects in the network, such as directories, files, applications, printers and fax modems.

NDS is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for Internet directory services because only NDS has the robustness and scalability to grow with organizations, supporting directory services even in the largest environments. In fact, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, and NTT have chosen NDS as the directory service for their public Internet services because of its ability to securely support thousands of users across multiple sites around the globe.

Java Directory Interface (JDI) Enables Faster Directory-Enables Application Development Java offers vastly expanded richness to networked application development. For developers to take advantage of Java=s full potential, applications must be able to be easily integrated into organizational computing environments. Novell is working with Sun and other industry leaders to provide an industry-wide directory and naming application programming interface (API) for Java.

The Java Directory Interface is a 100% Pure JavaAPI that provides naming functionality to applications written in Java. JDI supports a broad spectrum of naming facilities including directory (NDS, LDAP, X.500), file, URL, and XOpen naming facility systems. It is extensible, allowing third parties to integrate their own naming and directory systems into Java.

JDI allows directory-enabled applications to support a set of natural and logical relationships among various naming facilities and directories that mask the complexity of the underlying access routes from the end user. For example, an Internet URL allows a user to access a file named index.html that is unique in the namespace public residing on, which is the domain name of the system where the Web server is running in the URL scheme-id namespace http.

As a Java application developer, you will benefit from a directory service API that is not only independent of the particular directory or naming service implementation, but also enables seamless access to directory objects through multiple naming facilities. With JDI, you can write directory-enabled applications once and have them run anywhere.

Java, NDS, and LDAP The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) standard ensures common, platform-independent APIs. However, directory access protocols need an accessible directory behind them-NDS. Novell is a leader in supporting LDAP adoption by providing a secure, manageable, replicated LDAP directory via NDS. Novell's LDAP implementation for NDS is available free at

With JDI, LDAP and NDS you can build network-aware applications with open directory functionality that will remain compliant as the LDAP standard evolves. LDAP is becoming the standard directory access protocol for distributed applications, but today it only supports client-to-directory access. NDS fills the gap with its own directory-to-directory protocols. As LDAP matures, it will also include directory-to-directory protocol functionality, and Novell is committed to adopting and disseminating LDAP protocols as they develop.

NDS Functionality Adds Flexibility To Java Applications By leveraging NDS, your Java applications can be easily managed and secured within an intranet environment. By embedding access rights, locations, usage policies and object capabilities in a distributed information base, you can take advantage of NDS for unprecedented flexibility in designing distributed, directory-enabled applications for intranets.

Single Point Of Administration Use NDS to administer information in one central location for your applications. For example, Novell's Workstation Manager uses NDS to allow all NT, UNIX and other client workstations in an organization to be configured from a central location rather than on each desktop.

Service Location Management Register service locations such as database servers in NDS. NDS eliminates the need to build your own service location protocol or use bandwidth-intensive protocols such as Service Advertising Protocol.

Integrated Object Store Database Add your own object store database to NDS rather than create or maintain a separate directory.

Security Store user profile information in NDS, rather than on individual systems, for the most efficient way to control access to sensitive applications and services on the network. NDS provides you with the infrastructure to store public and private keys and cryptographic information.

Single Sign-on Allow users to sign onto an enterprise-wide environment once. NDS allows applications to verify that a user object is authorized, eliminating multiple passwords and time-consuming authentication dialogs when moving from one application to another.

NDS Momentum Unlike other emerging directory services, NDS is here today. There are more than 17 million NDS users, and that number is growing daily. By coupling Java and Novell's advanced directory services, Novell offers you rich access to networking services to build solutions that will be easier to manage, distribute, secure, and deploy across business intranets or the Internet. Novell also offers the broadest possible customer base to target.

Only NDS offers cross-platform support that extends from the leading UNIX implementations to Windows NT, along with Novell's own widely deployed networking software products, including IntranetWare, GroupWise, and ManageWise. Major Novell OEM partners such as Sun, SCO, and HP support Novell Directory Services.

NDS is available on the Linux operating system and major Intel UNIX platforms from SNI, ICL, Olivetti, NCR, Data General, Compaq and Unisys. And, hundreds of third-party applications leverage NDS including products from Cheyenne Software, Motorola, and Oracle Corporation.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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