Novell keeps repeating the mantra that, going forward, the company will emphasize the "twin pillars"\u00a0 (as CEO Jack Messman calls them) of Linux and identity management. But lately all we've heard from the company is "Linux, Linux, Linux" - it seemed that it was limping along on one pillar! As I said in Network World's Identity Management newsletter\u00a0last week, Novell, once the leader identity management, has allowed its identity management offerings to twist slowly in the wind while it pursues open source nirvana and while undergoing internecine battles.Due to holidays, editorial schedules and travel, I'd written that almost two weeks before it was published and - as fate would have it - I was actually in a phone conversation with Tyler Crowder Novell product marketing manager Tyler Crowder and Alan Murray vice president product management, Novell Resource Management when the newsletter hit my inbox. Crowder and Murray were calling to tell me all about Novell Identity Manager 3.0.Identity Manager 3 the "all grown up" descendent of DirXML, made its appearance this week and it's a package that you should pay attention to. More than just password and account synchronization, it's the foundation of a full-blown provisioning, workflow, account management, single sign-on, and user self-service suite of products.Novell's rolled in its "Designer" graphical point-click-connect module to help you model identity flow in your organization. For old-timers, it looks and feels a lot like AppWare, but a useful, working AppWare.Other features include a robust delegation functionality to distribute tasks to business managers and departments, where they can manage their own users' access needs and new, improved self-service features including the ability for users to initiate their own provisioning requests.Novell will be hosting an online seminar next week covering all the features of Identity Manager 3. You'll need to register but the event should be useful to anyone with ongoing needs in identity management - which should be just about all of you. The seminar will be held on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. All registered attendees will have the opportunity to win a $100 gift card, but all attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the new identity services.You should also check out the new Identity Manager sample policies Web site which, I'm promised, will be frequently updated with new policies you can adapt to your situation and circumstances.In the past, Novell has always made a good initial push and splash with its identity products, but lacked a well designed follow-thorough to sustain interest. We can only hope that this time it'll be different.