Novell on Tuesday released a new version of its Access Manager authentication system that allows non-Windows directory users to more easily access Microsoft web-based products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint.
The release of Novell Access Manager 3.1, with support for the WS-Federation standard, builds on a wide-ranging November 2006 deal between Novell and Microsoft. As part of that agreement, Novell and Microsoft said they would use the WS-Management, WS-Federation and WS-Security protocols to improve interoperability between their administration tools and network directories.
WS-Federation, part of the Web Services Security framework, is a set of interoperable access and authentication standards designed to help exchange identity and authentication information across different security realms.
System administrators can use the resulting software to create a single sign-on for identity information stored in multiple locations and application-specific identity stores, including Microsoft Active Directory, according to Novell. Active Directory is the identity store for authenticating users to Microsoft Office SharePoint.
WS-Federation is typically supported only in more expensive, supplementary federated identity products, Novell said.
For users, the product offers single sign-on authentication to portals, web-based content and enterprise applications, while IT administrators get centralised policy-based management of authentication and access privileges, Novell said. Access Manager is compatible with any LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directory.