Novell aims to broaden reach of NDS

Novell plans to license Novell Directory Services source code to major operating system vendors royalty-free.

Novell plans to license Novell Directory Services source code to major operating system vendors royalty-free, as well as offer a royalty-free distribution licence for a single server binary version of NDS on Windows NT, company officials have announced. (See Free NDS.)

"We're basically removing every barrier to adoption of our directory," says Michael Simpson, director of marketing for Novell's Internet infrastructure division.

The royalty-free licensing drive is an effort to drum up support for NDS, a cross-platform directory service, as Novell faces competition from Netscape's directory server and forthcoming directory enhancements to Windows NT from Microsoft.

Novell has already licensed the NDS source code royalty free to "all major Unix providers", Simpson says. Novell, which began working on a Unix NDS port with Hewlett-Packard and The Santa Cruz Operation last year, isn't naming any new OS vendors who plan to license the directory immediately, but Simpson says announcements will be made over the next month or two.

Novell will also be happy to see Microsoft incorporate its directory technology in Windows NT, Simpson says. Recognising the importance of NT in the market, however, Novell has already announced plans to offer a version of NDS for Windows NT. The early access release for developers will be available by the end of this year, with the final version available some time next year, officials say.

Novell will also make announcements about partnerships with independent software and hardware vendors. Novell also plans to open NDS access APIs to Internet standards committees, officials says.

The new distribution drive should help quell industry fears about Novell's future, Simpson says.

"They can count on Novell being around because our success is not solely relying on us," Simpson says. "We have major vendors incorporating our technology."

Novell is on the World Wide Web at http://www.novell.com.

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