Sun has updated its Open Net Environment (One) family of identity management software and development tools, with the aim of boosting performance and providing tighter integration between Sun's software and products from Microsoft, Oracle, Novell and IBM.
It unveiled the upgraded software at the JavaOne Conference in San Francisco. The updated products include versions of the Sun One Directory Server, Directory Proxy Server, Directory Server Resource Kit and Meta-Directory as well as a new Sun One product which synchronises passwords between Microsoft's Active Directory and Sun One environments.
Version 5.2 of the Sun One Directory Server features a rearchitected 64-bit back end that will vastly increase its ability to manage large user directories, including data sets of more than one terabyte, according to John Barco, an identity management product marketing manager at Sun.
As a result of the new 64-bit architecture, the Directory Server can support as many as 12 central processing units (CPUs), with performance improvements claimed to be between 50% and 500% various operations.
Meanwhile, Directory Service Resource Kit version 5.2 includes updated software development kits (SDKs) for the C and Java programming languages which are designed to take advantage of Directory Server's performance improvements.
Directory Server's latest version also boosts its "high availability" features for deployment on wide area networks (Wans), including improved, four-way data replication between master directory servers and support for the Sun Cluster 3.0 agent.
Sun is also expanding its support for directory services technology. Version 5.2 adds support for DSML (Directory Service Markup Language), an Extensible Markup Language (XML) derivative akin to LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) which enables organisations to share data between disparate systems.
In the process, Sun also redesigned the Directory Server's front end, creating a "plug and play" architecture, making it easier to add support for new protocols as they appear.
To encourage adoption of Directory Server on networks using Microsoft's Active Directory with the Windows NT or Windows 2000 platform, Sun also announced the One Identity Synchronization for Windows 1.0.
The tool enables user passwords stored in either Directory Server or Active Directory to be synchronised uni- or bi-directionally.
A new version of the Sun One Meta-Directory product, version 5.1, includes new connectors for a variety of products by Oracle, Microsoft, Novell and IBM including IBM's Lotus Notes version 5.0.10, Microsoft Exchange 2000 and Novell e-Directory version 8.6.2.
Meta-Directory integrates identity information from third-party databases and enterprise applications.
The increasing interest among organisations in deploying web services, as well as tough new regulatory requirements that mandate better protection of corporate information assets, are driving interest in Sun's identity management products, according to Andy Eliopoulos, director of business management for Identity Management at Sun.
Meta Group analyst Chris King said Sun's latest products are part of its efforts to keep a high profile in the identity management space without alienating customers.
"Sun's trying to look as broadly as possible. They're very concerned about Microsoft's Adam [Active Directory Application Mode directory services] and they're trying to be out there as much as possible saying 'Identity, Identity, Identity'," King said.
The software updates will be available later this month, and the new Sun One Identity Synchronization for Windows 1.0 tool will be available in July.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service