Radiant software eases directory-data integration

The idea behind a metadirectory -- to aggregate data from various sources and translate it into a single entity -- sounds familiar to some. To Radiant Logic, it sounds like a database.

With that in mind, the company is introducing its RadiantOne Context and Coordination Server. The server is a metadirectory that at its core is a relational database engine which aggregates and synchronizes data from directories, applications and other sources.

The server uses a directory front end merely as a presentation layer to give end users a familiar hierarchical design for searching data, much like Windows Explorer.

The unique combination of database engine and directory front end may have appeal to IT executives in that they can use their existing database infrastructure and knowledge, and avoid the costs and retraining needed to deploy a traditional metadirectory.

Traditional metadirectories combine a directory for data storage and a set of sophisticated, and often complex, rules for collating, synchronizing and updating data from different sources.

Radiant Logic believes a database, with its ability to synchronize, extract and log data, combined with its transaction capabilities is a natural for that same role.

"Radiant Logic is saying the job of a metadirectory is translation of data, but the database guys have already figured out how to do that so why not use it?" says Earl Perkins, an analyst with Meta Group. "No one has executed this directory and database integration but it sounds good on paper. The question is, are they really integrating the two or are they building a kludge? I want to see this thing in action."

While the database concept is unique to Radiant Logic, Oracle builds a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory on top of its database, although it is not a metadirectory. Novell, Microsoft, Critical Path, Siemens and iPlanet have metadirectories that have a directory at the core.

The RadiantOne server uses Radiant Logic's Virtual Directory Server, which stores database queries as LDAP objects. The objects, when accessed from the directory, fire off queries to a database that return real-time data, such as a whether or not a user has the right to access an application.

The server runs on Windows NT and 2000 or on the Java 2 platform, Enterprise Edition. The server supports iPlanet Directory Server, IBM's SecureWay and Microsoft's Active Directory.

It is priced at $50,000 and is expected to ship in July.

Radiant: www.radiantlogic.com

This story, "Radiant software eases directory-data integration" was originally published by Network World.

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