March 28, 2001, 1:15 PM — My company is adding Windows NT to our existing Novell network. I am considering either implementing some dual administration for user logon accounts and passwords or using some software that will help bridge the two systems together and let us work from one console. I have been looking at the Novell Directory Services Account Manager and the new DirXML technology. I am a little confused, they both seem to do the same thing. Which is better?
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You are right. Both products you mentioned seem to do the same thing. NDS Account Manager is the latest version of NDS for NT. In earlier versions, NDS was a redirector technology that handled the synchronizing of accounts on the Novell side. It made sure the account was created properly and the password was synced on both platforms.
Also, those companies running Microsoft's Exchange mail system also could have the e-mail account created at the same time the user account was created. For companies that are running Exchange 2000 on Windows 2000, there will be a new version of NDS Account Manager (version number is supposed to be 2.1) released in the next few weeks. The delay was due to several last minute schema changes to the Active Directory related to Exchange 2000 just before it was released to manufacturing.
What I have described for NDS Account Manager also applies to the DirXML technology. The big difference is that with DirXML, you can now include additional applications to handle account management tasks. With DirXML you have the potential to link to systems such as PeopleSoft, Oracle and even applications that use a flat file database. DirXML will allow you to create a user account from one point. You also can have that information populated in a form. This will reduce your setup time for a new user from a matter of hours or days to just a few minutes.
The DirXML technology will take a little more time to set than it will for an NDS Account Manager. However, this provides you with user account management flexibility from just one console. Both of these solutions are good options depending on your current job needs and where you envision the future growth of your company.