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Fwd: Is there a need for OpenLDAP?
- To: openldap-software@OpenLDAP.org
- Subject: Fwd: Is there a need for OpenLDAP?
- From: Jim Willeke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 19:57:05 -0400
- User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:0.9.1) Gecko/20010607
-------- Original Message --------
NETWORK WORLD NEWSLETTER: DAVE KEARNS
06/13/01 - Today's focus: Is there a need for OpenLDAP?
In this issue:
* What is OpenLDAP and what are its benefits?
* Links related to Directory Services
* Featured reader resource
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Today's focus: Is there a need for OpenLDAP?
By Dave Kearns
Readers of my Wired Windows column in Network World know that
I'm not a big fan of the open source movement - at least as far
as commercial-grade software is concerned. For that reason, I
haven't paid much attention to Open Lightweight Directory
Access Protocol (LDAP) - (http://nww1.com/go11/0611DSV2A.html),
the open source directory service.
Of course, there's also the fact that OpenLDAP defines itself
as "...an open source implementation of the Lightweight
Directory Access Protocol." Last time I looked, LDAP was
defined in a series of Internet Engineering Task Force Requests
for Comment (IETF RFCs), which is about as "open" (that is,
its published for all to use freely) as you can get!
OpenLDAP.org is run by something called the OpenLDAP
Foundation, a non-profit organization which is evidently
designed to solicit donations for itself. I would like to speak
to any of the officers of the foundation but, curiously, they
aren't listed anywhere on the Web that I could find. They
appear also to not have telephone numbers, although there is a
mailing address (in Redwood Shores, CA - also the home of
Most of the OpenLDAP project is either taken directly from, or
derived from on-going work at the University of Michigan (where
LDAP originated). The SLAPD (LDAP daemon) and SLURPD (LDAP
update daemon) servers are almost direct ports of work from
Michigan. There's nothing wrong with that as it is in the
public domain. But there's little evidence of much new
development from the OpenLDAP group.
OpenLDAP did fill a need for an easily obtainable, LDAP-enabled
directory service with a low entry price (it's free - but you
had to compile the source code). Shoestring funded start-ups in
the directory-enabled applications business could use it for
building and testing their software, and even recommend it to
clients who didn't have an installed directory service (or
didn't know they had one). Now that Novell is giving away
eDirectory to independent software vendors and Active Directory
is included with Windows 2000 servers, those reasons go away.
Since the initial reasons for the OpenLDAP project no longer
exist, I'd like to suggest a change. Let's forget about
duplicating commercial efforts to create data repositories and
directory services. Instead, let's focus on creating directory-
enabled applications that leverage the installed base of LDAP-
enabled directory services. Give users some concrete
applications that make use of the authentication, authorization
and personalization mechanisms the directory makes available.
That would be a public service.
To contact Dave Kearns:
Dave Kearns is the Word Wrangler for Virtual Quill, a writing
agency serving the computer and networking industries. If your
target customer doesn't know your product, doesn't know its
uses and doesn't know he needs it, he's not going to buy it.
From books to reviews, marketing to manuals, VQ can help you
and your business. Virtual Quill - "words to sell by..." Find
out more at: http://www.vquill.com/, or by e-mail at
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Copyright Network World, Inc., 2001
This message was sent to: JIM@WILLEKE.COM
Jim Willeke <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>