Directory Integration Can Lower Total Cost of Ownership and Increase Application Functionality
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- July 27, 1998 -- At The Burton Group Catalyst Conference today, Microsoft Corp. announced that leading application developers, including J.D. Edwards & Co., The Baan Co. and SAP AG, are integrating their products with the Microsoft. Active Directory Directory Service of the Windows NT. Server 5.0 operating system. Active Directory is the first directory service that is scalable, built from the ground up using Internet-standard technologies, and fully integrated at the operating system level. By integrating their applications with Active Directory, independent software vendors (ISVs) can build applications that deliver lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and greater functionality to their customers.
In addition to J.D. Edwards, Baan and SAP, companies committed to significant integration of their applications - beyond basic use of LDAP - with Active Directory include 3COM Corp., American Power Conversions, AVT Corp., AXENT Technologies Inc., Berkeley Networks, BindView Development Corp., Boole & Babbage Inc., Compuware Corp., Documentum Corp., Entevo Corp., Entrust Technologies Inc., Fastlane Technologies Inc., Infinium Software, Inprise Corp., ISOCOR, Legato Systems Inc., Mission Critical Software Inc., NeTegrity Inc., NetPro Corp., NetVision Inc., ObjectAutomation Inc., PC DOCS Inc., Picazo Communications, Seagate Software, SMS, VERITAS Software, Visio Corp., Wall Data Inc. and Zoomit Corp.
"Customers are asking for applications that integrate with scalable, Internet-ready global directory services to lower TCO, enable more deployment flexibility, and support extranets," said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the personal and business systems group at Microsoft. "Accordingly, we are pleased with the number of leading companies that are working to integrate Active Directory with their products."
Companies currently spend a significant amount of time and money dealing with the complexities of multiple directory services in their computing environments. For example, the proliferation of application-specific directory services, such as e-mail address books, has introduced the cost and complexity of keeping all directories up-to-date and synchronized with each other. In addition, most applications today cannot take advantage of information kept in global directory services to simplify administration or to offer benefits such as higher availability and response times. Each of these factors contributes to higher total cost of ownership.
Applications can reduce an organization's total cost of ownership and improve functionality by integrating with Active Directory in many different ways, including the following:
- Directory object extension. Active Directory provides standards-based interfaces and the ability for administrators to add new types of objects and to extend existing objects with new attributes. This enables Active Directory to be a consolidation point for reducing the number of directories that companies have. Benefits include improved information sharing and common management of users, computers, applications and directory-enabled network devices.
- Group Policy integration. Group Policy features enable administrators to define sets of applications, including specific configurations, that users should have available based on their location in Active Directory and the Windows NT security groups to which they belong. When users are moved into an organization or added to a Windows NT security group, their applications can be installed and configured automatically, lowering installation and configuration costs dramatically. Also, changes made centrally to policies by administrators can affect the way that business rules function without requiring updates to applications.
- Service publication. Active Directory enables applications to publish the names and locations of services they provide so that clients can locate and use services dynamically. This enables administrators to reconfigure servers for optimal response times and higher availability without having to update clients.
By deploying applications that are integrated with Active Directory, companies are positioned to experience simplified management, greater application functionality and lower total cost of ownership.
"Through Microsoft's joint development relationship with Cisco Systems Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, companies gain enhanced network services and synergy between all directory-enabled components of the network-computing environment," said Herb Madan, vice president and general manager of Cisco Systems' Network and Service Management Business Unit. "Networking customers are looking to lower TCO by making their business and management applications network-aware. Cisco Networking Services for Active Directory will enable developers to deliver network-aware applications in Cisco Powered Networks that leverage differentiated services."
J.D. Edwards develops, markets and supports multinational, integrated enterprise software for distribution, finance, human resources, manufacturing and supply chain management.
"J.D. Edwards believes that integrated directory services will help customers lower the costs of deploying and managing enterprise applications," said Paul Barker, manager of enabling technologies at J.D. Edwards. "Microsoft Active Directory services are consistent with J.D. Edwards' vision for unified directories, and we will be working with Microsoft to determine the best Active Directory integration approach to our OneWorld ERP application suite."
Baan is committed to using Active Directory in its advanced enterprise applications to realize the benefits of mass collaboration and mass customization. Active Directory provides Baan with a key shared service to exploit Baan's leading component architecture to connect people and technology in an anywhere, any time, any place internetworked environment.
"Baan's focus on maximizing the total value of ownership for enterprise applications is strengthened by Microsoft's commitment to lowering TCO through the deployment of its innovative and pervasive information technology stack in enterprises and across the Internet," said John Jendricks, senior vice president, global marketing and technology management for Baan Co. "Baan considers Active Directory to be a critical component of the stack and an essential element in the Microsoft enterprise platform, which is Baan's primary development and deployment platform."
SAP is a market and technology leader in client/server enterprise application software, providing comprehensive solutions for companies of all sizes and all industry sectors. Cultivating innovative technologies on a solid foundation of business experience, SAP delivers scalable solutions that enable its customers to continually improve upon best business practices.
"SAP believes that Active Directory-enabled applications offer customers a combination of greater functionality and lower total cost of ownership," said Karl-Heinz Hess, vice president of systems technology development at SAP AG. "The R/3 Directory interface is based on LDAP V3, and SAP will offer its customers the choice of replacing application-specific directories with Active Directory. In addition, SAP is working with Microsoft to identify additional ways for R/3 to take advantage of Active Directory."
Additional information about Active Directory integration can be found in the white paper "Lowering TCO With Active Directory-Enabled Applications" located on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/. Microsoft is also scheduled to demonstrate a number of Active Directory-enabled applications and provide additional guidelines for directory integration at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) being held in Denver during the week of Oct. 11, 1998.
About MicrosoftFounded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Cisco SystemsCisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. athttp://www.cisco.com.
Microsoft and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.