Tim Howes

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Tim Howes (born September 21, 1963) is the co-inventor of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP),[1] the Internet standard for accessing directory servers. The main purpose was to handle situations that the X.500 protocol suite could not address.


X.500 directories list network resources to make finding them and using them easier for network administrators and users. Unfortunately, accessing X.500 records has required a full-blown X.500 server; there was no such thing as an X.500 client. This led Howes to co-create DIXIE, a directory client for X.500 directories (as well as contribute significant enhancements to improve performance of the Quipu directory). This work formed the basis of his Ph.D. dissertation[2] at the University of Michigan and was the foundation for LDAP, a standards-based version of DIXIE for both clients and servers. The first publicly available version of LDAP was published in 1993.

In 1996, after joining Netscape as directory server architect, Howes was named one of the Top 25 Network Technology Drivers by Network Computing magazine. In 1997, LDAP version 3 won PC Magazine's Technical Excellence: Networking award. Howes was also named a Netscape Fellow, Netscape's highest engineering honor[citation needed], and was promoted to Chief Technology Officer of Netscape's Server Products Division.[3]

In 1999, shortly after AOL acquired Netscape, Howes left AOL to co-found Loudcloud with Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz and In Sik Rhee. In 2002, Loudcloud shifted businesses and was renamed Opsware. At Loudcloud & Opsware Tim held the positions of Executive Vice President and CTO. In 2005, Howes was named a "Top 25 CTO's of 2005" by InfoWorld magazine.[4] In 2007 Opsware was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.65 billion, and Howes became Vice President and CTO of HP Software.[5]

In October 2008, Howes left Hewlett-Packard to co-found RockMelt with Eric Vishria.[6]

In August 2013, Howes joined Yahoo when Rockmelt was acquired by Yahoo.[7] He left the company in December, 2014.

Howes also serves on the board of directors of Blue Coat Systems.


  1. ^ RFC 1777 - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  2. ^ Howes, Timothy Alan (1996). "A scalable, deployable, heterogeneous internet directory service". Ph.D. dissertation. University of Michigan. 
  3. ^ Howes/Smith/Good, Timothy/Mark/Gordon (1999). "Understanding and Deploying LDAP Directory Services, ISBN 1-57870-070-1, (About the authors)". Macmillan Computer Publishing. 
  4. ^ Opsware's Tim Howes Honored as a ''Top 25 CTO of 2005'' by InfoWorld. Business Wire (2005-04-11). Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  5. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=204203 LinkedIn profile of Tim Howes. Retrieved on 2014-12-105.
  6. ^ Liedtke, Michael. "Web Browser Pioneer Backs New Way To Surf Web". NBC News. 
  7. ^ [1] Yahoo acquires Rockmelt. Forbes August 2013