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Sun-Netscape Alliance focuses on user management

September 28, 1999
Web posted at: 10:26 a.m. EDT (1426 GMT)

by John Fontana

Network World Fusion

(IDG) -- The Sun-Netscape Alliance last week unveiled an integrated bundle of applications that could make it easier for companies to set up directory-based systems for managing end users across internal networks and extranets.

The alliance pulled the curtain back on its Unified User Management Suite, a collection of existing products, including the iPlanet Directory Server, Certificate Management System, Meta-Directory and Delegated Administrator. The alliance is bundling in a third-party product, Netegrity's SiteMinder, for policy management, authentication and authorization services.

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"They've taken the crucial parts of user management - the directory, public-key infrastructure, authentication and access control - and put them together . . . in an effort to ensure they work together," says Jamie Lewis, president of The Burton Group.

The directory creates a central repository of information that can be used to add and delete users or to approve user access to Web-based applications. The Meta-Directory allows Directory Server to collect and share data stored in disparate directories, such as those in enterprise resource planning or e-mail applications.

The certificate system supports a PKI, while SiteMinder provides single sign-on, centralized access control and policy management capabilities.

The Delegated Administrator allows for end-user self-service, which means end users can add, delete and update information without the need for a directory administrator. Companies such as Oblix also are building directory-enabled user management applications similar to the Delegated Administrator.

The Unified User Management Suite is expected to ship next month and will cost $15 per user.

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