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Microsoft Metadirectory Services Overhauled

After making relatively little noise about metadirectory services for several years, Microsoft on Wednesday said it had released to manufacturing a new metadirectory product called Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003.

The product is a complete overhaul of the Microsoft Metadirectory Services that the software giant delivered for Windows 2000 and had based partly on technology it purchased from Zoomit Corp. in 1999.

The new MIIS has the same aim -- allowing Active Directory and other Microsoft directories to replicate with and co-exist with the many directories in place in the enterprise. There are three key elements to the product: synchronizing identity information across a variety of identity stores; provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts and identity management across systems; and enabling self-service and help desk-initiated password management and resets from a Web interface.

MIIS uses SQL Server 2000 as its data repository. It is designed to support replication and identity management in a way that allows the original application or directory to retain data ownership of the identity data.

Broad technologies for interoperating with heterogeneous directory types include support for the LDAP Directory Interchange Format and support for replicating database-based information through SQL's Data Transformation Services. Specifically, MIIS supports replication with Novell eDirectory, SunONE/iPlanet/Netscape Directory, Lotus Notes/Domino and Oracle 8i/9i.

Several product companies and systems integrators have already lined up to interoperate with, extend or help deploy MIIS. Product companies already announcing technologies surrounding MIIS include Business Layers Inc., DigitalPersona Inc., M-Tech Information Technology Inc., Oblix Inc. and OpenNetwork Technologies. Systems integrators working with Microsoft on MIIS-related services include Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, ePresence Inc., Ernst & Young, Fujitsu Services, HP Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Unisys Corp.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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