Novell this week released NDS eDirectory for Windows 2000, approximately two weeks after the Microsoft platform made its debut.
The platform is designed to act as an internet directory for the Windows 2000 server, linking existing directories, managing user relationships, and handling ecommerce application needs, said Paul Corriveau, Novell product marketing manager for directory and ebusiness solutions.
"If you just want to host a directory service on a Windows 2000 server and put all your customer information in that directory, that's an ideal use for eDirectory for Windows 2000," he added. "It's not meant to replace the Windows 2000 Active Directory. We realise Active Directory is a requirement for things like Exchange, so we realise that people will roll out Active Directory to take advantage of the user management capabilities for Windows 2000 users and groups."
The multi-platform focus of eDirectory may help attract developers, according to Dana Gardner, research director for messaging and directory services at the Aberdeen Group.
"From the development standpoint, people who want to create directory-enabled applications using certain platforms to develop and deploy on, get a much greater benefit by having NDS -- if that's the directory they choose to develop with across (multiple) platforms," Gardner said. "It's really kind of a play to attract more of a critical mass of developers to your particular directory, and I think that's probably one of the key strengths of having this cross-platform."
Novell is now beta testing a component of its DirXML metadirectory product, slated for a (northern) summer release, that lets users manage the entire Active Directory environment from within eDirectory. Corriveau emphasised that this would be an integration and management solution, not a migration tool.