Novell is to add multi-platform support to all its products as part of an ambitious project which executives of the company light-heartedly call "the fabric of the Internet".
Codenamed Denim (directory-enabled Net infrastructure model), the project forms part of the vendor's bid to help businesses create "one Netae, which ties together corporate intranets with the Internet.
Novell chief executive Eric Schmidt, who unveiled the project at the vendor's annual BrainShare conference last week, said companies need to take down firewalls that separate their intranets from the Internet.
But they still needed to be able to do business freely across the Internet by adding extra security layers to each network. Schmidt said: "We are building networks and putting firewalls between the good guys (intranets) and bad guys (the Internet).
"But the trouble is, your customers are out there too. There's now a shift to let people talk to each other while still dealing with the bad guys."
Despite the publicity surrounding the project, no major Denim-based products were unveiled at BrainShare. Novell executives said the immediate goal is to add multi-platform support to all legacy products, including Novell Managewise network and systems management tool.
High-profile products such as Novell Directory Services (NDS) and Zenworks desktop management tools already run on various operating systems, including Linux, Windows NT and Windows 2000.
Novell said having products that support a variety of platforms is crucial, particularly as Microsoft begins targeting NDS with Active Directory, which included in Windows 2000.
Schmidt said Novell does not view Microsoft's directory server as a major threat because customers want cross-platform applications and Active Directory supports only Windows 2000.
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