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Novell Directory Services

From Academic Kids

Novell eDirectory (formerly called Novell Directory Services) is an X.500 compatible directory service software product released in 1993 by Novell for centrally managing access to resources on multiple servers and computers within a given network. It is used in over 80% of Fortune 1000 companies and competes with Microsoft's Active Directory, Sun's Java System Directory Server and Red Hat's Fedora Directory Server.

eDirectory is a hierarchical, object orientated database that represents all the assets in an organisation in a logical tree. Assets can include people, positions, servers, workstations, applications, printers, services, groups, etc. The use of dynamic rights inheritance and equivalence allows both global and fine grained access controls to be implemented efficiently. Access rights between objects in the tree are determined at the time of the request and is determined by the rights assigned to the objects by virtue of their location in the tree, any security equivalences and individual assignments.

eDirectory supports partitioning at any point in the tree and replication of that partition to any number of servers. Replication between each server occurs periodically using deltas of the objects to reduce LAN/WAN traffic. Each server can act as a master of the information it holds (providing the replica is not read only). Additionally, replicas may be filtered to only include defined attributes to increase speed (eg a replica may be configured to only include a users name and phone number for use in a corporate address book).

eDirectory can be accessed via LDAP, XML, DSML, SOAP, OBDC, JDBC, JNDI, EJB, Active X and ADSI and has been proven to scale to over 1 billion objects.

eDirectory runs on Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Sun Microsystems's Solaris, Linux, IBM's AIX and HP's HP-UX as well as under Novell's own NetWare so it can easily be deployed in your existing environment.


As of early 2005, eDirectory was still powering CNN's website. [1] (http://www.cnn.com) Look at the bottom of their website. Personalizing and Customizing Web Content Using NDS eDirectory at CNN (http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/november/02/a0011023.htm#1041423)

Direction Générale des Impôts, the French Tax Authority, uses Novell eDirectory as the identity repository for taxpayers (http://www.novell.com/news/leadstories/2001/dec17/). Today the directory hosts several hundred thousand identities and will grow to accommodate 35 million (encompassing virtually all French taxpayers) when the project is complete.

TransUnion, one of the world’s largest credit reporting agencies, has deployed eDirectory to personalize the Web experience for 10 to 12 million customers annually (http://www.novell.com/success/transunion.html).


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