Microsoft has offered its Dir Sync specifications to the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) in an attempt to spark interest in its forthcoming Active Directory, which is integrated into Windows 2000.
The specifications are intended to link Active Directory with third party directory services, including the Novell Directory Services (NDS), but analysts believe Microsoft is pushing its protocols because it refuses to embrace the industry standard Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (Ldap).
And Bob Sakakeeny, analyst at the Aberdeen Group, believes Big Green?s latest announcement is aimed at spoiling Novell's preparations for its Brainshare user conference in Utah, which starts this weekend.
"Dir Sync is an attempt to synchronise NDS with Active Directory and to avoid Ldap standardisation. Ldap is supported by other players, but Dir Sync is Microsoft's version of Ldap which does not provide full synchronisation, only top level synchronisation," he said.
But he does not believe that Dir Sync will be popular because developers have to customise every link they make to Active Directory, although there are ways to bypass Active Directory, for example, by using NDS for NT.
IBM is also expected to announce ways of avoiding Active Directory in its own directory services for DB2.
Although Microsoft refused to comment on the situation, it would appear to be in danger of falling even more seriously behind in the directory services race if Windows 2000 is delayed further.
Novell has been busy bolstering its defense by promising a raft of NDS announcements at Brainshare, including the demonstration of NDS version 8, which, it claims, can manage one billion objects.
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