Novell to improve metadirectory

Novell is expected to release as early as next week a version of its metadirectory software that works with more applications, including those on remote machines that aren't on NetWare networks.

Like other metadirectories, Novell's new DirXML 1.1 will join data from myriad directories typically found on corporate networks. The company hopes the upgrade will further differentiate its offering from those offered by Critical Path Inc., iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions and Microsoft Corp., among others.

While DirXML supported remote applications before Version 1.1, it no longer requires customers to run Novell's eDirectory platform at each site. DirXML, which runs on any server that also has eDirectory installed, links to remote applications via IP using Secure Sockets Layer technology. The applications can reside on mainframes, Macintoshes or assorted Win32 and Java systems.

Brian Wiatr, senior systems administrator for the Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, will use the remote connection support to manage end-user accounts on Windows 2000, and NetWare 5.1 and 6 servers.

"We're looking at doing single-point of administration for both eDirectory and Active Directory," Wiatr says. DirXML 1.1 will let him gather information from Windows 2000 and manage it with tools on his NetWare network.

Novell is making DirXML more useful by adding support for Novell's GroupWise collaboration software and SAP AG's mySAP human resources package. The company is also updating the drivers it ships for PeopleSoft Inc.'s HR applications, Windows NT domains, Exchange and Notes delimited text files.

Wiatr is working with Novell's consulting group to develop drivers for the HR and administration software he uses. Once the drivers are available, new employees and students will be added to the applications and then information automatically will be populated to other directories.

New logging features will also be part of DirXML 1.1. Companies will be able to create one log or individual per-function logs for each DirXML driver they have loaded on a system. Rather than having to sift through a lengthy log to find information or trigger events for an action on a particular NT domain, administrators can reduce overhead and create a log for each domain.

DirXML 1.1 will cost US$29 per user; the mySAP HR driver will cost $10 per user.

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