Other possible enhancements to eDirectory might include event-based policy support and "loosening up the metadirectory," to let administrators prevent directory synchronization when the circumstances so warrant, for instance.
Over the shorter term, Novell will start bundling the Novell directory with NMAS, a major component of Nsure. "NMAS won't be separately available. You'll have to buy the Directory to get it," Haeger said.
For several months now, Novell has been talking about performing some sort of integration between GroupWise, a product now available for NetWare and Windows servers, and NetMail, which currently operates on NetWare, Solaris, and Linux servers.
This week, Howard V. Tayler, product manager, Messaging and Business Solutions, claimed Novell recently took the first major step in the new direction.
"We now have a Java-based client that will work across platforms, in addition to a full Windows client," he elaborated.
Messaging environments, however, need to fit in well with customers' work requirements, Tayler suggested: "We are starting to see Web and portal habitats, but e-mail is really the major habitat today."
"We're really happy with GroupWise. It just works. We couldn't use a product like NetMail, though, because corporate policies prohibit e-mail access from outside the firewall," corroborated another showgoer, Kelly R. Molen, who is a GroupWise administrator at Wyeth.
Tayler added that Novell is also eyeing unified messaging, teamware, and workflow capabilities for Novell's messaging environments at some point in the future. "We're well aware, though, that these technologies have their problems, and that not all of them are fully mature," he said.
Nsure Identity Management
A roadmap is already in place for Nsure, Novell's architecture for providing secure access to multiple applications, all with single sign-on.
This week, Novell announced the immediate availability of Liberty Alliance 1.1, as well as the expected availability of SAML in June. Both technologies provide "federated identities," letting administrators set up links that give end users single sign-on access among both internal and external Web sites.
Starting with Apollo, however, end user access to Web servers will become more individualized, with the addition of policy-based and role-based access rights, said Wendy Steinle, director of marketing, Novell Nsure Solutions.
In a somewhat similar vein, iManager -- the recent replacement for ConsoleOne in NetWare -- will add policy- and role-based access rights for administrative tasks in 2.0, the version of iManager that will come with NetWare 6.5.
Nsure already supports desktop authentication through the use of smart cards and fingerprint readers, as well as digital certificates and tokens. In another enhancement, Apollo will provide first-time server-side support for Nsure access through smart cards and biometrics.
Steinle added that NetWare 6.5 -- the new NOS slated to ship in July -- will include an Nsure starter pack, to give administrators a "subset" of Nsure's full identity management capabilities.
Some observers are predicting that with Novell's greater adoption of open source, engineering efforts around some of Novell's existing products might fall to the back burner. The sense of things at Brainshare, though, is that NetWare, Zen, GroupWise, eDirectory, and other long-time products are still piping hot priorities for Novell.