Directory to take baggage out of email

Software.com will try to make Internet email easier to manage across corporate intranets by licensing directory services technology.

CNET News staff
Software.com will take a stab at making Internet email easier to manage across corporate intranets next week by licensing directory services technology from Coordinate.com, the Internet division of Banyan Systems.

The company will incorporate Banyan's StreetTalk directory services into Post.Office, Software.com's flagship simple mail transport protocol (SMTP) server. StreetTalk will make it simpler for users to quickly locate email addresses on the Internet and corporate intranets, according to sources close Software.com.

Directory services are standard features of proprietary LAN email packages, such as Lotus's cc:Mail and Microsoft's MS Mail, that let local and remote users receive automatic updates to their address books every time a user is added to or removed from the LAN.

But because the Internet doesn't have a standard for directory services, companies moving more of their corporate communications onto intranets are having trouble managing email addresses, even for just their own employees. The same problem applies to managing files over the Internet and intranets.

As a result, other directory services vendors have discussed extending their technologies beyond the LAN and proposing them as standards for the Internet. Novell, for example, announced at its BrainShare developer's conference in Utah last month its intention to push its NetWare Directory Services, re-christened as Novell Directory Services, as an Internet standard.