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Novell eDirectory (formerly known as Novell Directory Services, sometimes referred to as Netware Directory Services) is an X.500-compatible directory service software product initially released in 1993 by Novell for centrally managing access to resources on multiple servers and computers within a given network. eDirectory is a hierarchical, object oriented database used to represent certain assets in an organization in a logical tree, including organizations, organizational units, people, positions, servers, volumes, workstations, applications, printers, services, and groups to name just a few.
eDirectory uses dynamic rights inheritance, which allows both global and specific access controls. Access rights to objects in the tree are determined at the time of the request and are determined by the rights assigned to the objects by virtue of their location in the tree, any security equivalences, and individual assignments. The software supports partitioning at any point in the tree, as well as replication of any partition to any number of servers. Replication between servers occurs periodically using deltas of the objects. Each server can act as a master of the information it holds (provided the replica is not read only). Additionally, replicas may be filtered to only include defined attributes to increase speed (for example, a replica may be configured to only include a name and phone number for use in a corporate address book, as opposed to the entire directory user profile).
- Windows 2000
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Server 2012
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux
- Novell NetWare
- Sun Solaris
- IBM AIX
Network configuration stored in the directory
When Novell first designed their directory, they decided to store large amounts of their operational server data within the directory in addition to just user account information. As a result, a typical Novell directory contains a large pool of additional objects representing the servers themselves and any software services running on those servers, such as LDAP or email software.
Microsoft's Active Directory is fairly simple by comparison, typically storing only user and machine objects in their directory. Other Windows network configuration information is scattered across other databases such as the Windows registry, the domain name server, and specialized services such as the global catalog. Netware integrated all these functions into eDirectory. Even file system information is stored in the directory as volume objects.
Versions of eDirectory prior to version 8 (then called Novell Directory Services) used a record-based database management engine called Recman, which relied on the Transaction Tracking System built into the NetWare operating system. Since version 8, eDirectory (along with the GroupWise collaboration suite, starting with version 5) uses the FLAIM (FLexible Adaptable Information Management) database engine. FLAIM is an open source embeddable database engine developed by Novell and released under the GPL license in 2006. This change allowed for it to be ported to other platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Unix.
- Killpack, Rick (2005). eDirectory Field Guide. Apress. ISBN 978-1-59059-553-4.
- Kuo, Peter; Jim Henderson (2004). Novell's Guide to Troubleshooting eDirectory. Novell Press. ISBN 978-0-7897-3146-3.
- Jeffrey F., Hughes (2002). Novells Cross Platform Guide to eDirectory. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-7645-4915-1.
- Jeffrey F., Hughes (2001). Effective eDirectory Design & Proactive Analysis. Directory Design. ISBN 978-0-9717420-0-0.