Novell ramps up application provisioning

InfoWorld |  Development

Eyeing improved application and content provisioning, Novell Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to acquire directory-based software vendor Novetrix Corp. for an undisclosed sum and introduced an updated version of its Novell OnDemand Services provisioning software.

Novetrix, in Fountain Valley, California, makes thin-client technology, dubbed DeFrame, which allows access to Windows terminal servers via Novell Directory Services (NDS) eDirectory. In essence, this lets end-users tap corporate applications, such as the Microsoft Office productivity suite, and digital content through a Web browser without having client software deployed at the desktop, according to officials at Provo, Utah-based Novell.

Version 1.5 of Novell OnDemand Services integrates this thin-client technology from Novetrix into NDS eDirectory, allowing users to access Windows-based applications across multiple networks.

Combining OnDemand with DeFrame creates a zero-byte client, which takes away the need to deploy client code on a workstation, said Amer Jneid, president of Novetrix.

"[DeFrame is] a light plug-in that allows self-subscription for services and self-provisioning for applications over any bandwidth without the need for IT or help desk involvement," Jneid said. "For an enterprise, this allows flexibility and the freedom to access what they need from any browser. This is all without making a call to the help desk."

In addition, OnDemand 1.5 can let an enterprise act as its own ASP (application service provicer), Jneid said.

"This sets up a pay-per-view model where you can request services on demand inside and outside the enterprise," Jneid said. "You can sign on to your own network and get your own applications or get outsourced applications launched from somewhere else without compromising speed."

Down the road, Novell plans to bundle OnDemand Services with ZENworks for Desktops, which will let enterprise administrators manage desktop computers, laptops, and thin-client servers though a single management offering, according to Novell officials.

Novell also is considering adding the DeFrame technology into its Novell Portal Services offering. This would allow legacy and Web applications to be accessed directly through the portal, according to Jneid.

Version 2.0 of OnDemand Services, expected this summer, will include a workflow policy management feature that will allow access to specific applications based on business policies, such as job function or department, Jneid said.

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