Oracle, Siemens Develop Web-based Metadirectory

Oracle and Siemens will jointly create a meta-directory - a directory of directories - that allows companies to unify disparate corporate information lists into one Web-based environment.

The companies are developing a joint product that will be launched globally in the first half of 2000, said Kira Wüsten, director of sales for North America at Siemens meta-directory services.

Large enterprises use an average of 180 directories that contain information such as e-mail addresses, telephone numbers or security information about employees and customers, according to a joint statement from Siemens and Oracle. If these lists cannot be synchronised or accessed from one central spot, the result is often wasteful redundancies, the companies said.

The new Siemens-Oracle product is designed to address this problem. It will combine Siemens DirXmetahub software that enables corporations to bring together corporate directories with Oracle's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory service. LDAP is a protocol used to access directory listings stored on either the Internet or corporate Intranets. Oracle's Internet Directory server, based on LDAP technology, can transact millions of entries, making it ideal for large corporations, Wüsten said.

Currently, many companies use metadirectory products geared for use in distributed client-server networks, Wüsten said. The new Siemens-Oracle product offers an option to those companies that want to switch to an Internet-based model, she added.

The two companies will also jointly market the product to their customers, and provide consultants to help install the products, Wüsten said. Among Siemens' large metadirectory customers are Daimler Chrysler, the Canadian government, and Volkswagen, she said.

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