Netscape Communications this week will offer to Perl developers a free tool that cobbles together directory information to both link extranet applications as well as tap into non-LDAP data for directory inclusion.
Netscape's PerLDAP combines Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and the Perl scripting language so corporate developers can quickly directory-enable extranet applications.
PerLDAP software modules, available as open source code on the mozilla.org site, comes "in response to customers who were deploying [Netscape] Directory Server and now want to integrate non-LDAP information and to integrate other directories," said Kevin Tsurutome, senior product manager for directory tools and management at Netscape.
Already, Motorola is using the Perl tool to create a directory hierarchy that connects its central x.500-based directory to others throughout the company for intranet applications, Tsurutome said.
Bay Networks Inc. is also using the tool, but in a way that allows applications to seek and verify user authentication from the directory data store for certain access privileges, Netscape said.
Netscape also distributes Java- and C-based tools for directory integration, but this newest module is targeted at developers and system administrators who work in Perl, a popular scripting language for Web site development.
Tsurutome said that the tool can ease the level of programming for accessing LDAP directory information for use in applications.
"It lowers the bar for what Perl developers need to know in Perl," said Tsurutome. "If you were a Perl person you might have talked to LDAP using utilities or a C SDK [software developer's kit] and do a fair amount of programming work. Now you can get the binaries and then access the directory service through Perl objects. So it makes it easier for Perl developers to access LDAP directory data."
Netscape also recently delivered the first beta of its Netscape Directory Server 4.0 product and Netscape Process Manager 1.0, an extranet collaboration product. These came on the heels of an announcement earlier this month of Netscape's metadirectory strategy.