March 17, 1997 10:00 AM ET
Novell partners with Netscape, JavaSoft for IntranetWare
By Lisa Wirthman

  Novell Inc. is looking to technologies from Netscape Communications Corp. and JavaSoft to further extend the Internet capabilities of its networking platform.

Novell and Netscape are expected to announce at Novell's Brainshare user conference next week an agreement to pair the latter's Internet servers with Novell's IntranetWare operating system, said sources close to both companies.

Meanwhile, Novell is working to add JavaSoft's JavaBeans component architecture to its network services and utilities. Last week at Internet World here, Novell announced plans to deliver in the third quarter an implementation of JavaSoft's new JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface) for NDS (Novell Directory Services).

Although Novell currently licenses Netscape's Navigator browser for IntranetWare, additional integration of such Netscape products as SuiteSpot and such JavaSoft products as JavaBeans could go a long way in establishing IntranetWare as an enterprise Internet platform.

"This should scare the bejesus out of Microsoft [Corp.]," said one Novell and Microsoft user who requested anonymity. Novell and Netscape together "could really own the enterprise," he added.

"The majority of servers we install for IntranetWare are still just being used for file and print," said Chris Meyers, systems analyst for James Moore & Co., a certified public accounting firm in Gainesville, Fla.

Netscape, too, stands to gain from a Novell partnership.

Marc Andreessen, Netscape's vice president of technology, intimated last week that a partnership with Novell would bring a much-needed strong reseller connection.

Novell, Netscape get cozy

Potential partnerships between
the two companies could yield ...

Netscape:

  • Access to a larger reseller and sales channel
  • A way to leverage the scalability and NT synchronization capabilities of NDS
  • Server products will gain IntranetWare support
Novell:
  • Validation of IntranetWare as an Internet platform
  • The opportunity to gain more Java technologies
  • Strengthening of Java and CORBA development efforts

A Novell/Netscape partnership could enable Netscape customers to leverage Novell's directory for Netscape servers on IntranetWare. Although Netscape currently offers its own Directory Server, its products would gain the advanced scalability and synchronization capabilities of NDS.

Novell's port of NDS to Windows NT this summer also would enhance Netscape products on NT.

Adding support for IntranetWare would add another platform for Netscape's servers and complement Netscape's NT product line, sources said.

As Novell aims to build closer ties with Netscape, it also is embracing Java technologies to ease development and Web integration.

"We're betting the whole farm on Java," said Patrick Harr, Java product marketing manager for Novell, of Orem, Utah.

Novell announced last week at Internet World its plans to deliver an NDS implementation of JavaSoft's new JNDI. JNDI enables developers to write directory-enabled applications in Java that can automatically be deployed on native Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and x.500 directories such as Netscape's Directory Server.

Novell's JNDI implementation will plug in back-end access to NDS, enabling applications written to the interface to be compatible with NDS as well.

Novell also is working to deliver JavaBeans for its network services and utilities, which would enable developers not only to write applications in Java that can register in and leverage the power of a directory, but also to do so using objects.

A developer writing a spreadsheet application, for example, could drop in a JavaBean to enable it to print, then drop in a customized JavaBean for the directory that gives the application access to certain printers.

Additional reporting by Michael Moeller and Stephanie LaPolla

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