Novell has XML on its mind

As expected, Novell on Monday announced its plan to change the way directories access and view information through the use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) with its DirXML add-on to the company's NDS 8 application.

Novell, and its competitors in the directory arena, plan on using XML to connect directories to applications in a new way of thinking with the use of XML, officials said here at the Burton Group Catalyst conference.

DirXML is intended to provide applications with the ability to view data from multiple directories, said Chris Stone, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Novell.

"It gives the capability of multiple views of multiple pieces of data," Stone said. "DirXML creates views of data for each application in LDAP, XML, or other formats."

Novell will also provide connectors to translate non-XML documents from sources that need to access the DirXML system, which Stone admits will "provide a huge consultant opportunity".

The company intends to provide DirXML as an add-on to NDS 8 similar to the Zen product line model, Stone said.

Using XML for directories has firmly caught the attention of conference attendees and Jamie Lewis, president of the Burton Group, the company hosting the Catalyst event.

"The use of XML for moving data around is something the other meta-directory vendors aren't doing right now," Lewis said. "I think doing it with XML is the way to go."

Novell has already received partnership and support for DirXML from companies such as Compaq, Entrust, enCommerce, Bowstreet, Oblix, Netegrity, ISOCOR, and others.

Novell's DirXML for NDS 8 is slated for beta release by the end of the year, with pricing to be determined. Initial platform support is scheduled for Novell's NetWare 5 and Windows NT, with Solaris and Linux support to follow.

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