Novell Takes Platform Approach to E-Business

Novell Inc. popped the lid off a new technology strategy and announced iChain, eGuide, and embedded printing products here at Comdex.

Since last spring, the Provo, Utah-based company has been shaping its one Net vision, which seeks to unify disparate networks and services. Although Novell is best known for its NetWare, NDS, and GroupWise products that form the basic package for running a business, the company is shifting gears away from separate product messages toward forming a unified platform, Novell officials said.

"We have moved from a point product approach to integrated road maps forming a product platform," said Corbin de Rubertis, vice president of eBusiness at Novell. "We have a product portfolio that can be an enabler of e-business for large enterprises and small companies."

Aiming to present a complete solution for e-businesses, Novell is recasting old products be more relevant in the Internet space and releasing new technologies to bridge gaps between systems.

"From a business standpoint, there is a separation between front-end applications and back-end systems," de Rubertis said. "The next level is to build a bridge between the front and back end.

Addressing that needed link, Novell introduced iChain Version 1.5, a security and management infrastructure for authenticating into back end systems.

The new iChain Version 1.5 includes an authorization server that provides authentication of network resources such as passwords, tokens, smart cards, and certificates. It also provides single sign-on capabilities and access controls, Novell officials announced.

Other components include the iChain Internet Caching Server for speeding up content delivery; eDirectory 8.5 for centralized storage of user information and access rules; and iChain Community Services for creating communities of users.

Novell also rolled out eGuide 1.5, a Web-based application service that extends user information across multiple networks, and embedded Novell Distributed Print Services, which automates network printer setup and management, according to Novell.

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