Novell is to offer its Novell Directory Services (NDS) code free to rival operating system vendors in a bid to make it the de facto standard directory service for networks and the Internet.
SunSoft will next week announce that it is the first taker, according to US reports, but NDS is unlikely to find a home at Novell's arch-rival Microsoft which said last week that it is developing its own distributed NTFS (NT Filing System) for Windows NT 5.0. Despite that, Novell will port NDS to NT next year and could offer it as an add-on product. Netscape is also developing its own directory services.
While offering directory services as a feature is very much in vogue, Novell can point to real experience in the field and Microsoft has clearly struggled to develop a serious rival. "NDS is years ahead of other directories in terms of technology and market share," said Tom Arthur, vice president and general manager of Novell's Internet Infrastructure Division.
Novell will offer the source code free but will charge for services such as replication, certificates, groupware, and messaging.