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Checking out NordicEdge

Jul 07, 20043 mins
Access ControlEnterprise Applications

* A look at NordicEdge's identity management tools

Early one morning last week (well, “early” is relative, but for me it’s early until I’ve finished my first pot of coffee) I sat down to listen to Jens Yhrefors, sales manager at NordicEdge telling me about his company’s “Identity Manager” product. It’s certainly interesting, and certainly useful, but it might be misnamed. Before getting to that, though, some background.

The guys who founded NordicEdge came mostly from Novell by way of identity management software firm Netegrity. That’s certainly a good pedigree for anyone in the identity management field. They saw a need for a product and took the risk of jumping out on their own to deliver it. That first product was the One Time Password (OTP) server, which adds a second authentication factor for those accesses requiring greater security. This is how it works:

A user logs on with a standard username and password, the OTP server then sends an SMS text message to the user’s cell phone with a randomly generated passcode. The user’s PC (or terminal or whatever device they were using to logon) now shows a second authentication screen waiting for the user to enter the passcode sent to their phone. If this is done correctly, within a settable time frame, then the user is given access. It’s simple, easily implemented, and effective – everything we recommend in a first-time identity management product. It’s available for multiple platforms, so check it out at the NordicEdge Web site.

The Identity Manager product, though, could probably be better called Directory Manager because that’s what it does. It’s a front-end tool and rapid development tool for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)-based directories. You can quickly create both stand-alone and browser-based forms for creating, modifying, maintaining, querying and removing user accounts and attributes from any and all of your directories. It will even allow you to read (but not yet write) to SQL databases to amalgamate data. That’s right, you can create lookup forms that gather information from multiple repositories and present it in a coherent manner to non-directory-savvy users (like, say, help desk personnel).

The great thing is that it’s infinitely (it seems) customizable – even its look and feel. Want it to resemble native Novell tools? Click on the Novell “theme.” Have another user who’s more familiar with Active Directory? Click the AD theme for that user’s version of the application. Anyone moving from proprietary servers and directories to, say OpenLDAP on Linux would find this to be almost an essential tool for its power and scope as well as for the ability to make it look familiar to those who have to use it.

Visit the NordicEdge Web site and look at the extensive series of screen shots. Hopefully a full-blown demo or evaluation version will still be available. Once you get your hands on it, I think you’ll want to have a copy for yourself.