Business Layers to propose e-provisioning standard
By Dave Kearns
Network World Directories Newsletter, 12/11/00
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Last month, my friends at Business Layers (the electronic-provisioning company, first to demonstrate an enterprise-class directory-enabled application) called me, very excited. They were about to embark on their first venture into standards making.
What they want to do is to take the Active Digital Profile (ADPr) - a compendium of the actions needed by their software to fully provision a new, moved or terminated employee - and turn it into a standard.
"That's nice," I said. (I'm nothing if not polite when facing another mind-numbing PowerPoint presentation.) "Which standards group are you taking it too, DIF? " (DIF is the Directory Interoperability Forum, part of the Open Group.)
"Um, no," came the quick reply.
"Since its XML based, how about the [Directory Services Markup Language] organization?" I continued.
"Um, no, not them," was again the reply. "Actually, we haven't decided on a standards group, yet. It's still an ad hoc standard."
Well, we went on in that vein. I decided that as I did like what Business Layers is doing, and as this is their first attempt at forging an industry-wide standard that I'd give them the benefit of the doubt. Since ADPr wasn't actually going to hurt anything (except, perhaps, to divert activity on directory-enabling applications), I decided to simply ignore it.
But Business Layers' public relations firm couldn't be swayed. I tried to suggest gently that I wasn't about to speak glowingly of ADPr, so it might be best if I just left it alone. But, no, Mr. PR kept after me. "When will you write about it?" he said.
Today, I'm writing about it. ADPr is a proprietary technology used by Business Layers. No other vendor in the e- provisioning space is going to agree to use it. Any application vendor who does adopt it risks alienating Business Layers' competitors. The real clincher, though, is that ADPr is simply not needed. It's an XML package of Objects and Attributes, which properly belong in the directory where all applications have equal access.
But don't take my word for it; look at the proposal yourself. If I'm wrong, let me know.
Dave Kearns is a writer and consultant in Silicon Valley. His most recent book is "Peter Norton's Complete Guide to Networks" published by SAMS. Dave's company, Virtual Quill, provides content services to network vendors: books, manuals, white papers, lectures and seminars, marketing, technical marketing and support documents. Virtual Quill provides "words to sell by..." Find out more at Virtual Quill or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Press release: Business Layers leads effort to develop first XML-based eProvisioning specification
Business Layers, 11/28/00
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