Active Directory-related announcements impress

There was a neat new product released and an intriguing announcement made recently, both involving Windows' Active Directory.

Javalina Software released ADxray, a troubleshooting and analysis tool that helps to identify the source of network problems by scrutinizing Microsoft Active Directory object attributes. ADxray v1.0 provides search ability, attribute value details and descriptions, presents a key interpretation feature that discloses Active Directory attribute values in comprehensible formats, and provides an editing capability.

Other features of ADxray include:

  • An extensive search capability for attributes and their values.
  • Low-level editing capability that allows for adding, removing and modifying attribute values.

ADxray also includes the ability to:

  • Display detailed attribute information including descriptions.
  • Uncover hidden objects such as deleted "tombstone" objects.
  • Show mandatory, optional, constructed and unset attribute views.
  • Translates raw attribute values into comprehensible formats.
  • Displays entire directory tree: all objects and attributes.

Get all the details at, download the evaluation and try it for yourself.

The intriguing announcement came from Vintela, the company that provides Vintela Authentication Services (VAS), which extends Active Directory identity management and authentication to the Unix and Linux platform. What Vintela announced was that Microsoft had made a substantial (but not controlling) investment in the company.

In the past when Microsoft took a financial stake in a company with a Linux practice (such as the purchase of anti-virus maker GeCAD), the Linux part usually disappeared from the marketplace. That won't happen with Vintela, because if you remove the Linux practice, there isn't much left.

The intriguing part, then, is what does this indicate about Microsoft's relationship to Linux and open source software?

It's generally conceded that open source and Linux won't be going away anytime soon, but neither is Windows. Increasingly, enterprises will have a mixed environment and people will seek out products and services that can help them easily manage that environment. Microsoft, unfortunately, has staked out a position that denies the viability of Linux - going so far as to suggest those who run Linux may get sued for patent infringement.

Many think that it would be an admission of error for Gates & company to suddenly create their own integration solution for Linux. In the past, Microsoft created integration tools for NetWare and Macintosh operating systems, but it is probably too soon for the company to invite Linux to its party. So ensuring that Vintela stays viable really is in Microsoft's best interest. VAS leverages a customer's investment in Windows Servers and Active Directory, and gives Microsoft an edge in the coming battle to control management of the corporate heterogeneous network.

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