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Will UDDI kill Novell?

The demand for Web services is forcing some big names to introduce their own directory capability in order to support UDDI.

Guest Commentary
Will UDDI kill Novell?, special to SearchWebservices
by "Two"

Novell has always been a leader in the directory market - so much so that it now bases its corporate success on the sales of the eDirectory product. The growing demand for Web services is forcing some big names to introduce their own directory capability in order to support the UDDI standard. So far Novell has shown little sign of any movement to protect its position.

You don't have to read very far through a Web services description before the need for directory technology becomes apparent. Both the UDDI and WSDL standards are designed to provide important resource information for Web services. UDDI can be seen to be the Web services equivalent of DNS whilst WSDL describes the interfaces that are available.

It doesn't take much reading to work out that Web services can't provide the mechanisms that are needed for security and management. This is where solutions need to fall back on older products.

It has taken a while but it now seems that some of the big names in IT infrastructure have cottoned on to the fact that they need a directory to handle Web services now and in the future as the security and manageability issues are worked out.

Microsoft has been looking for a use for its ZoomIT technology for ages and seems to have found a niche for it within the .NET framework. The latest release of BEA's WebLogic Platform includes directory technology (although they don't name it as such).

You can bet that IBM and Sun have directories in their products too because there's no other way for them to support UDDI. So where does Novell stand on Web services?

You would expect Novell to be building a Web services infrastructure into the NetWare operating platform, perhaps providing a Web services gateway so that the relevance of eDirectory is clear for all to see. Unfortunately, it seems that this might not be the case.

A quick tour of Novell's Web site shows no references to UDDI and a collection of Web services products that have little to do with the integration of distributed components.

We all know that Novell is making pretty significant moves in the Web services arena, however, there is the problem that the emergence of UDDI has raised a general awareness of its core technology. That might be a good thing but not if it introduces new competitors.

Novell is not renowned for its marketing prowess and its ability to fight off the likes of IBM, BEA and Sun must be questioned. We should hope, perhaps, that these new solutions are in fact being built on embedded Novell directories. It is after all, probably the best there is.

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