Novell is to port its flagship directory services to Linux as part of its plan to make the directory central to ecommerce.
The company will offer a native version of Novell Directory Services (NDS) for Linux by the end of the year, said senior vice president of strategy and development, Chris Stone.
Speaking at the Brainshare European user conference this week, Stone said Linux was the platform for which customers most regularly demand a version of NDS. That would enable users to manage and integrate Linux workstations and servers with other NDS-enabled operating systems such as Netware, Windows NT and Sun Solaris.
Novell claims the market for directory-enabled applications will grow to $10 billion (£6.25bn) a year worldwide by 2002.
The Linux move is aimed at Internet service providers, according to Strategy Partners analyst Clive Longbottom. ISPs are turning to Linux as a cheap alternative to Solaris, he said, and Novell hopes to use ISPs to encourage others to take up NDS.
According to researcher IDC, by 2002, 80 per cent of network access will involve some sort of directory service.
Novell said it will also offer fully native versions of NDS for Solaris, OS/390 and Windows NT by the end of the year.
For more stories see this week's issue of Computing
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