Novell Lays Out Linux Plans, Debuts Single Sign-On Software - InformationWeek

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Novell Lays Out Linux Plans, Debuts Single Sign-On Software

It also debuted a cross platform-compatible appliance that lets companies provide network services to branch offices.

Novell used its BrainShare 2003 conference in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday to roll out new single sign-on management software, pin down the date for the upcoming public beta of the Linux version of its Nterprise networking services, and debut a cross platform-compatible appliance that lets companies provide network services to branch offices.

Novell Nsure SecureLogin 3.5, unveiled Monday, is an updated edition of its single sign-on and password management software. New to this version is support for Swing and AWT-based Java applications and applets; version 3.5 also eliminates the need to deploy the Novell client to put advanced features such as biometric logon in the hands of users. Instead, users can access SecureLogin's top-tier tools from any workstation with a standard LDAP client.

In touting SecureLogin's new support for Java--the first enterprise single sign-on solution to do so, according to Novell--Alan Nugent, Novell's chief technology officer, said, "The effectiveness of a password management system hinges on the number of applications it can integrate with. Otherwise single sign-on becomes 'sort-of sign-on,' which only complicates the problem."

Also at the BrainShare Europe conference, Novell said that the open beta of Nterprise Linux Services 1.0, its suite of networking services including file, print, management, messaging, and directory services, will be available to users in mid-October.

Novell first announced the Linux version of these Nterprise services in June. A cornerstone of its announced strategy to pursue open source, Nterprise Linux Services 1.0 will also bear the fruits of Novell's August acquisition of Ximian, a major player in the Linux desktop market.

The suite of services will feature management services courtesy of Ximian's Red Carpet software, Novell said.

Identity services for Linux will be provided by Novell's eDirectory and DirXML, file services by Novell iFolder, messaging services via NetMail, and printing services by iPrint.

"We're building with, and to, open standards," Novell vice chairman Chris Stone said. "We're putting our money where our mouth is on open source."

The final version of Nterprise Linux Services 1.0 is scheduled to ship later this year, but pricing won't be announced until closer to the release date, according to Novell.

Another package, Nterprise Branch Office 2, also will go into public beta next month and be released later this year. This software appliance, which supports Linux, Windows, and Novell's own NetWare network operating system, is designed for companies that want to deliver network services to far-flung remote or branch offices.

Branch Office plugs into the existing network and gives branch-office users access to file storage and print resources, and will automatically replicate data back to the corporate data center.

Using the Internet, Branch Office eliminates the need to roll out wide area networks or virtual private networks to give remote users secure access to enterprise resources. A separate, cached directory of local users is maintained so that the entire directory of the enterprise doesn't have to span the network, saving bandwidth, said Novell's Nugent.

Pricing and exact availability of the new Branch Office will be announced later this year.

Novell also said Monday it would put its Web application development suite, exteNd 5, in open beta in early October. ExteNd 5, which will feature visual development tools, drag-and-drop features, and new support for Linux, will handle standards ranging from XForms to JSR 168.

Novell promised that application developers will be able to generate Web apps with exteNd 5 without punching in a single line of code.

The development suite is being tested by some Novell customers and will be available for downloading from Novell's Web site early next month. The company said a final release date and pricing haven't been determined.

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