Netscape Communications and Bay Networks announced at last week's Netscape Strategy Day in the US that Netscape's Directory Server software will be bundled with Bay's Contivity Extranet Switches in what is claimed as the first commercial shipping implementation of the Directory Enabled Networks (DEN) standard.
Mark Andreessen, executive vice president of products and marketing at Netscape, also revealed Netscape is leveraging its directory for its Web-based workflow project with Hewlett-Packard.
Netscape and Bay plan to ship their DEN-enabled products at the end of the month, beating even Microsoft and Cisco Systems - the founders of the DEN initiative - to market.
With the bundling agreement, Netscape Directory Server can coordinate the configuration of multiple Bay switches simultaneously. It also allows administrators to control the directories from Netscape's Mission Control Console.
"You can have hundreds of applications and not have to manage them going into each application. We're going to integrate those with the directory and allow people to maintain the data where they want," said John Paul, senior vice president for server product development.
The workflow project with Hewlett-Packard will also use the directory heavily, said Andreessen. The product, which will ship in the second quarter according to a source, will allow common tasks to be automated and synchronised using the directory.
"You'll never identify a person by name, but by role," he said. "Then you actually put the workflow processes themselves in the directory."