"DirXML is the key technology for Novell because of the potential it has for integrating personalization systems. Every major vendor wants to control access-control lists and authorization, and none of their personalization engines work with one another," Marshall said. "The potential of DirXML is wide and strong and could be the answer for Novell."
During the conference many Novell executives, including CTO Carl Ledbetter, touted the importance of the eDirectory.
"The directory is the centerpiece of our technical strategy but not the business strategy because it won't be a big revenue driver," Ledbetter said. "Microsoft built their empire on DOS because so many developers built applications for it. The directory will be Novell's DOS. We want people to build applications for the directory."
The directory's capability for authentication, access, and security is an extraordinarily powerful thing, Ledbetter said.
Despite its ups and downs, Novell still commands loyalty from its large customer base, several of which were on hand at the show offering testimonials.
Campbell Soup recently renewed its license with Novell, upgrading its NetWare platform to Version 5.1 and licensing the new ZENworks 3 management product, as the company instituted changes meant to streamline management processes, said Charles Destefani, manager of client/server services at the Camden, N.J.-based company.
"We use these [products] for desktop standards management, third-party evaluation, and for remote control of the desktop," Destefani said.