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Active Directory Gets Interop Boost from New Programs

Active Directory was a star of Microsoft's TechEd 2005 Europe show, with the company rolling out a number of programs and partnerships for improving the interoperability of its proprietary directory service.

The main push comes behind the introduction of the Microsoft Active Directory Program. The program includes Interoperability Development Labs in Redmond; the Active Directory Password Change Notification Service; IP and protocol technology licensing for Active Directory licensing; and a new Web site for Active Directory interop information.

The program's components are aimed at partners. For example, the Active Directory Password Change Notification Service is a technology package to allow ISVs to integrate non-Active Directory applications and services into Active Directory infrastructures. However, the new Web site is of more general interest to any developers and IT professionals looking for Active Directory interoperability information.

Another partner-focused effort outside of the new program is a Microsoft collaboration with Kernel Networks in France to extend the current list of LDAP directories supported by Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 (MIIS).

Already, MIIS supports management agents for iPlanet Directory Server 4.x, Sun One Directory Server 5.x, Netscape Directory Server 6.x, Novell eDirectory 8.7.x and IBM Directory Server. Kernel Networks will be making a new OpenLDAP Management Agent, which Microsoft describes as open and royalty free, available in the fourth quarter. The agent will provide connectivity for commercial and non-commercial applications between MIIS and OpenLDAP 2.x-based directories.

Microsoft also used the Active Directory omnibus announcement to show support among the two key Active Directory interoperability vendors for some of the changes coming to Active Directory in Windows Server 2003 R2 later this year.

Both Centrify and Vintela voiced support for R2's promised Active Directory Federation Services based on the WS-* architecture.

About the Author

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

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