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Novell Conjures New ID Management Software

Novell isn't resting on its laurels in the Web services department, as the Provo, Utah, company rolled out new identity management software that helps businesses control what employees can access what computing device and to what degree.

Formerly Novell DirXML, Nsure Identity Manager can be used to set policies for names, e-mail addresses or passwords to be accessed via desktop computers or handheld computing devices.

Novell said in a press statement that end users can self-manage password access, resetting forgotten passwords without having to ping IT services for help, while an IT manager can set-up or terminate accounts. Changes made by the appropriate authority may then be synchronized across all locations and systems. The software also provides real-time security alerts.

Nsure Identity Manager 2 fulfills the duties that standalone software products would normally be responsible for in network management, such as standalone provisioning, password management or metadirectory products. This greatly reduces management costs, Novell said in the statement.

This notion of assimilating identities from all connected systems is a big part of the Web services movement, in which applications and services are directed to communicate with one another to automate and perform tasks.

Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with XML and Web services research firm ZapThink, gave kudos to Novell's evolution from an operating system and directory company to a competent Web services infrastructure provider.

"The Nsure Identity Manager is well positioned to be a leader in the enterprise identity management space alongside Netegrity and Oblix," Bloomberg told internetnews.com. "What Novell can offer that these other, more specialized vendors cannot is a much broader solution set for companies moving toward Service-oriented architectures (SOAs)."

SOAs are frameworks for using a description language with interfaces that are called to perform business processes.

Bloomberg said Novell's exteNd product provides application development and integration capabilities, which, when bundled with Nsure, will offer customers a broad set of tools for building and securing SOAs that few competitors can touch.

Such product suites are considered an important linchpin to help Web services succeed, as enterprises are increasingly demanding products that bridge communications between employees and partners.

"Identity management is becoming increasingly important because applications are no longer discrete, isolated islands of information in the enterprise," said ZapThink Senior Analyst Ronald Schmelzer. "The movement to standards-based computing... means that systems are increasingly being shared, integrated, and combined into composite applications to power the new class of enterprise applications."

Novell, along with IBM, Sun Microsystems and several other software vendors are working to provide ID management software in what analysts say is a multi-billion market. IBM offers its Tivoli Identity Manager, while Sun offers its Java System Identity Server.

Nsure Identity Manager is available on Linux, Windows, NetWare and Solaris at both per server and per user pricing.