In the next phase of the two companies’ much-discussed collaboration, Novell and Microsoft announced they are working together to develop a method for using existing protocols for bridging network access between eDirectory and Active Directory, with complete details to come sometime during the first half of this year.
Though the two companies did not mention this explicitly, the common bond between the two identity management services for their networks is Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Both are implementations of an LDAP store, although Microsoft utilizes a kind of abstraction layer that enables Windows Server-based networks to bind an LDAP application to a replica partition rather than specifically to an IP address. Differences in implementation such as this are why bridging the two identity services is not an academic process.
The challenge for Microsoft and Novell will be to utilize their own tools to enable single sign-on capability, which would let a user of a Windows Server-based network (or, to use Microsoft’s term for multi-domain groups, a forest) have her authentication be trusted by a Novell SuSE Enterprise Linux-served domain in the same network.
Microsoft, Novell, Active Directory, eDirectory, Announcement