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Senior Editor

A look at virtual directories

Sep 20, 20042 mins
Data Center

* The idea behind the ancillary directory technology known as virtual directory

Keeping a central repository of all of your data resources is usually the domain of some huge honking directory. This week our Technology Update author ( takes a look at an ancillary directory technology known as virtual directory.

The idea behind virtual directories, which are typically implemented in middleware, is that they can look and act like the big metadirectory. But, they in fact act sort of as go betweens between an application and a user. In other words, virtual directories basically point to data, then fade into the background.

According to our author, the loose coupling of identity data and applications is an important difference between a virtual directory and the traditional meta directories. . A meta directory provides the consolidated view of user identity by adding a layer of infrastructure that sits above the native repositories, drawing user data from them and storing it in a new consolidated directory. While this tight coupling is well-suited for situations where data is not updated frequently, it is often insufficient for use with more agile applications such as portals and CRM systems where synchronization delays may cause users to work with data that may be out of date, our author says.

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