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A positive light shines on eDirectory

Apr 06, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Novell should think about promoting eDirectory again

You wouldn’t expect much positive news for Novell to come out of last week’s Directory Experts Conference. For the most part, you’d be right. Not that there was anything negative said about Novell; just that the company, and eDirectory, were rarely mentioned. But the mentions I did hear were encouraging for those who think eDirectory is far superior to Microsoft’s directory product.

The featured speaker of the second day of the conference was John Enck, Gartner Group’s research vice president. While he didn’t come right out and say that eDirectory was superior, he made the point several times that “many people feel” that Active Directory isn’t ready from prime time as THE enterprise directory while mentioning in the same breath that eDirectory (which he always mentioned by name) and “Sun’s directory” (currently called Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition, but Enck couldn’t seem to remember that. But, then, who can?) were well entrenched in the enterprise.

It’s not much, but it is a ray of sunlight in a week that was mostly filled with rain for Novell (see the last issue of this newsletter).

Over the past 10 years, eDirectory has frequently been called the “crown jewels” of Novell’s product line. It’s one of the few products, not only within Novell but throughout the software industry, of which few people have a bad word to say. It’s almost universally credited with beginning the movement to make the directory a platform for services in the network.

I’ve followed eDirectory since its beginnings as NDS – NetWare (later “Novell”) Directory Services. Given the personnel churn and turnover turmoil at Novell (which I also alluded to last issue), the directory time has been remarkably stable. Sure, a few people have left – with a number of those surfacing in Redmond, of all places – but for the most part the same folks doing eDirectory five years ago are still doing it today.

Maybe it’s time the company redirected its energies a bit and put the crown jewels on display once again.