Oblix Debuts Extranet Access Software

FRAMINGHAM (07/28/2000) - Oblix Inc. this week rolled out e-business software at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference that lets IT managers manage access to company extranets and Web-enabled applications.

Dubbed NetPoint, the software consists of three components: an identity system, access and authentication system, and a management element.

The Web browser-based NetPoint Identity System lets host companies set access rights and policies for customers or trading partners looking to access the host extranet. Once given access, trading partners or customers can subscribe to a company's host's extranet, add user accounts and passwords for employees that should have access to information, and determine the access individual employees have.

The NetPoint Access System, which resides on a Windows NT or Sun Solaris server and includes browser-based software for the client, controls user requests into the host's Web-based extranet applications by authenticating them into whatever directory is being used. NetPoint works with Novell Inc.'s Directory Services, Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory and the Netscape Communications Corp.'s Directory Server.

Once authenticated, users are allowed access to content and applications running on the Web server, depending on policies set within the NT or Solaris-based Active Automation administrative manager. Users also are granted single sign-on capability to Web applications via the Access System. Policies are set in Active Automation by user or group characteristics and attributes.

Oblix has no plans to incorporate other Lightweight Directory Access Protocol-based directories into NetPoint. NetPoint is available in September for $50 per user; quantity discounts are available.

"We have a database of information from Oblix that gives attributes and manages user information," says Steven Mahone, software lead engineer for WorldCom. "We use a product called SiteMinder [from Netegrity] to do our Web authentication to the Oblix database and provide access to corporate information." Mahone uses Sun Solaris directory servers running Netscape Directory Server 4.0.

Netegrity offers a similar product to Oblix' NetPoint, which authenticates, manages and sets policies for user access. It does not, however, have a directory repository for user information.

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