Novell Dresses in DENIM

SAN MATEO (04/03/2000) - Novell Inc.'s Brainshare 2000 conference last week in Salt Lake City marked the emergence of a refocused Novell, centered around a corporate vision of "one Net." The company also made clear its intentions to provide Internet services software that joins disparate company networks into one network accessible from multiple platforms and devices, which Novell deems vital to e-business.

Central to Novell's one Net message is DENIM (Directory-Enabled Network Infrastructure Model), a new architecture using eDirectory as a directory-service foundation, as well as network services.

"We can finally now paint a picture of a new Internet where services are always on, networks are always there, and the network is always aware," said Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Novell.

Novell and third-party vendors will provide DENIM's Net services layer, which includes security, identity, and management solutions.

Although many Novell users were excited by DENIM, others observed that it faces challenges in refocusing as an e-business player.

"They've got a strong foothold to do what they're saying," said Shannon Walker, an information specialist with the Wyoming state government. "But it will be interesting to see how well [Novell's future plans] are accepted when it's really working."

Novell also demonstrated technologies including a newly released beta version of metadirectory tool DirXML; Novell Migration Wizard 4.0, which eases the process of moving users, groups, and files from Windows NT to NetWare 5.0; and directory federation capabilities for the planned eDirectory 8.5.

The federation capabilities, which Novell officials said will let a company add users from another directory tree or branch into their own enterprise directory to share resources between two or more businesses, sparked interest.

"It's a real step forward in e-commerce, being able to ... give rights to [a company directory] without having to merge trees," said Mike Hagman, PC specialist at TrustJoist, a maker of engineered lumber, in Boise, Idaho.

Novell Inc., in Orem, Utah, is at www.novell.com.

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