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Hitachi licenses Netscape software

The companies say they are collaborating on the development of intranet and extranet packages based on Netscape servers and Internet standards.

    Hitachi and Netscape Communications (NSCP) said today that they are collaborating on the development of intranet and extranet packages based on Netscape servers and Internet standards.

    Japanese electronics giant Hitachi has licensed the source code to Netscape's Directory Server 3.0 software and will package the server technology with Hitachi's future Internet-based software products using version 3 of LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol).

    LDAP is a flexible, high-performance directory protocol for storing and retrieving user names, email addresses, phone numbers, and other information on intranets and extranets. Support for LDAP v3 enables multilingual directory data to be managed on one central directory. Hitachi said it plans to develop its new software products with support for LDAP v3 as well as Japanese language capabilities. It will then target them to customers in the Japanese marketplace in the second quarter of 1998.

    Hitachi said it sought out Netscape because of the company's leading role in the standardization of the LDAP protocol and implementation of the specification in its Directory Server. Netscape and Novell have jointly promoted the adoption of LDAP as a standard technology for accessing directories.

    With Netscape Directory Server as a foundation, Hitachi plans to build LDAP extensions for integration with its intranet and extranet software products including Groupmax groupware software, Hitachi database engine software, its security systems based on digital certificates, and SET (secure electronic transaction) specification, the company said.

    The two companies said they will work together and submit these extensions to the Internet Engineering Task Force for standardization as part of the LDAP protocol.