Novell Delivers on Its Vision

Offering some tangible proof of its one Net vision heralded at its Brainshare conference last March, Novell Inc. at the NetWorld+Interop conference rolled out a series of products and features designed to unify disparate networks and services.

Aimed at giving enterprises a more personalized and simplified way to use public and private networks, Novell Portal Services provides a single log-in and single point of access to user-specific information gathered from the Internet, intranets, and other networks.

The application framework leverages XML to tie together applications, services, and information from different sources into a single portal interface that can be customized for a group or an individual user. Using XML lets the applications and services communicate and integrate with each other, according to Novell. NDS eDirectory provides the link to identity-based services that relay information specific to a user's job or need. For example, the portal services are different for salespeople, suppliers, customers, and executives.

The Novell Portal Services SDK (software development kit), which lets developers create portal services gadgets that display a variety of content from Web services, is available now, with general availability starting by the end of the year.

Novell also made several announcements pertaining to its directory technologies. The company announced general availability of DirXML 1.0, integration software that combines directory technology with XML to enable cross-platform and cross-network information exchange.

In addition, Version 8.5 of eDirectory made its debut at the show packed with several new features. A feature called Filtered Replication offers a streamlined process of searching directory data for specific applications and makes it possible to host data from various applications on a single server, according to Ed Anderson, director of product management for Directory Services at Novell, in Provo, Utah. Another feature, iMonitor, is a browser-based monitoring tool that lets administrators keep tabs on directory activities from any browser.

Rounding out the announcements, Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. said it will use Novell's NDS eDirectory and DirXML as the directory services infrastructure for Red Hat Network, an Internet service for managing networks of Red Hat Linux that was announced earlier this week.

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