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IBM, Novell, Oracle, DCL, Lotus Development and ISOCOR Rally Industry to Advance Market for Open Directory Applications.

SOMERS, N.Y--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 7, 1999--

Over 30 directory providers and supporters back open standards to

ensure applications work seamlessly in mixed computing environments

IBM, Novell, Oracle, Data Connection Limited (DCL), Lotus Development Corp., and ISOCOR today announced that they have established the Directory Interoperability Forum.

The Forum's intent is to speed development and deployment of directory-enabled applications that run across different computing environments.

In addition to the founding members, The Directory Interoperability Forum is supported by a variety of industry leaders who endorse open directory standards and have agreed to the objectives of the Forum. Supporters include: Allot Communications, Alteon WebSystems, Altiris, Inc., AT&T, Aventail, AXENT Technologies, Bow Street, Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, DASCOM, enCommerce, Entrust Technologies, Evergreen,, HAHT Software, Lucent, Netegrity, NetPro, NetObjects, NetVision, Network Associates, Oblix, Orbital Software, Process Software, Proginet, Protek, Protocom Development Systems, Red Hat, The Open Group, Triangulum Software, Inc., VeriSign and webMethods.

Directories allow businesses to store and provide access to different types of information -- including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, security credentials and device configurations -- vital to managing networks and conducting e-business. According to Forrester Research, Inc., Fortune 500 companies typically maintain as many as 190 separate directories, making interoperability among the applications that use them critical. Consistency across directory-based applications can help enterprises simplify information management, improve security and accelerate commerce across multi-platform computing environments.

Open standards are especially important to software developers who write applications that rely on directories. The Directory Interoperability Forum will help developers create and bring to market directory-enabled applications based on open standards such as the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). The Forum will also help companies integrate and adopt new technologies without having to repeatedly redesign their network infrastructure.

"The value of directory services is ultimately measured by the number of applications that leverage them," said Jamie Lewis, president of The Burton Group. "The Directory Interoperability Forum understands that rationalizing today's confusing application development environment is an important step in increasing the number and quality of directory applications."

The member companies will work closely with industry associations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), The Open Group and the Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF) to speed enhancement and adoption of directory standards.

"The Open Group is very pleased to have the input of directory leaders to work with us to accelerate application development and interoperability through directory standards, certification testing and conformance programs," said Allen Brown, chief operating officer and acting president, The Open Group. "The expected results of the Forum will be a major leap forward in directory interoperability and customer confidence when using multi-vendor solutions. The combination of the vendors' efforts, in conjunction with our own, will ensure that when a developer writes an application using LDAP, it will work consistently in the market."

Members of the Directory Interoperability Forum plan to:

-- Promote open directory standards such as LDAP;

-- Collaborate to define, create and implement software development kits that provide consistent behavior across directories that implement open directory standards such as LDAP;

-- Collaborate with standards groups such as the IETF and The Open Group to advance and mature the definition of the open directory standards;

-- Encourage ISVs to write to open directory standards; and,

-- Write new directory-enabled applications to open directory standards.

As an initial step, members of the Forum have verified that current LDAP-enabled applications interoperate with IBM SecureWay(a) Directory, Novell Directory Services(a) (NDS), Lotus Domino(a) Directory and Netscape Directory(a). Applications that have been tested include: IBM WebSphere(a), IBM Blue Pages, Lotus Domino, Lotus Notes(a), Tivoli Management products, Novell Groupwise(a) and Novell Net Publisher(a). More information about the Directory Interoperability Forum is available at

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at

About Novell

Novell, Inc. is the world's leading provider of directory-enabled networking software. Novell solutions give businesses total control of their private networks and the Internet, simplifying the management of user access and identity. Novell's worldwide channel, consulting, developer, education and technical support programs are the most extensive in the network computing industry. For information on Novell's complete range of products and services, contact Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272), or visit Novell's Web site at Press may access Novell announcements and company information on the World Wide Web at

About Oracle

Oracle Corporation is the world's leading supplier of software for information management, and the world's second largest independent software company. With annual revenues of more than $8.8 billion, the company offers its database, tools and application products, along with related consulting, education, and support services, in more than 145 countries around the world. For more information about Oracle, please call 650/506-7000. Oracle's Worldwide Web address is (URL)

About Data Connection Limited

Data Connection Limited (DCL) is the leading independent developer and supplier of ATM, Conferencing, Internet Telephony, Universal Messaging and Directory, SNA and SS7 portable products. Customers include 3Com, Cabletron, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM Corp., Microsoft, Nortel Networks, NCR, SGI and Sun. Data Connection is headquartered in London UK, with US offices in Virginia. It was founded in 1981 and is privately held. During each of the past 18 years its profits have exceeded 20% of revenue. Last year sales exceeded $26M, of which 97% were outside the UK, mostly in the US, leading to the company's second Queen's Award for outstanding export performance. For information, visit our Web site at

About Lotus Development Corp.

Lotus Development Corporation, founded in 1982, is a subsidiary of IBM Corporation. Lotus sets the standard for truly innovative software products and services that reflect the company's unique understanding of the new ways in which individuals and businesses must work together to achieve success. Lotus is redefining the concept of conducting business through practical knowledge management, e-business and other groundbreaking ways of connecting the world's ideas, thinkers, buyers, sellers and communities via the Internet. Lotus markets its products in more than 80 countries worldwide through direct and extensive Business Partner channels. The company also provides numerous professional consulting, support and education services through the Lotus Professional Services organization.


ISOCOR ( is a leading provider of world-class Internet software, supplying high-quality, high-performance software designed to handle an organization's messaging, directory and meta-directory requirements. ISOCOR customers represent Fortune 1000 companies and service providers in the manufacturing, telecommunications, financial, government, healthcare, entertainment and other markets around the world.

(a) Indicates a trademark or registered trademark of the respective company.

Attachment: Executive quotes from members of the Directory

Interoperability Forum

"IBM is committed to open standards, and our participation in the Directory Interoperability Forum will benefit our e-business customers who rely on directories for their critical applications," said Al Zollar, general manager, Network Computing Software Division, IBM. "Robust, consistent standards will help protect our customers' technology investments."

"This collaboration of industry leaders is an expression of our joint commitment to standards and open architecture for doing business on the Internet," said Chris Stone, Novell senior vice president for strategy and corporate development. "As a leader in the directory space with NDS, Novell is happy to work to advance development of applications that can fully exploit the power of directories, especially in e-commerce."

"E-business today means implementing an architecture based totally on Internet standards," said Chuck Rozwat, senior vice president, Server Technologies at Oracle Corporation. "The Directory Interoperability Forum, which is aggressively driving the LDAP standard forward, combined with Oracle's Internet Directory, delivers critical open, scalable, reliable infrastructure for e-business."

"Lotus applauds our combined push toward open, interoperable directories," said Eileen Rudden, senior vice president of Lotus' Communications Products Division. "This forum will empower companies to select the directory that makes the most sense for their individual e-business needs."

"Creating genuine directory-enabled solutions involves far more than just supporting the LDAP standards." said Graeme MacArthur, director of Messaging and Directory Technology at Data Connection Limited (DCL). "There is a need for directory vendors to work together to resolve deployment issues such as schema integration, meta-directory connectivity, and application toolkit usage. That is why this initiative is important to the industry, and why DCL expects to play a major role."

"This industry initiative will allow the acceleration of open standards for directory applications, making it easier for e-business customers to integrate new directory-enabled applications to effectively manage their information," said Karl Klessig, vice president, Marketing and Strategic Alliances, ISOCOR. "Customers will benefit significantly from the combined efforts on LDAP and meta-directory."
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 7, 1999
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