, the Internet
division of Banyan Systems
, and Software.com
have joined forces to make
Banyan's StreetTalk directory technology a standard for intranets.
Network directories like StreetTalk and Novell's Network Directory Services
(NDS) allow systems administrators to define access for files and network
resources and keep logs of activities for all users on the network. Right
now, there are no directory services for intranets, a lack that complicates
the lives of administrators trying to keep track of users and distribute
information and software to them over the network. Both Banyan and Novell
would like to see their directories adopted as de facto standards for the
exploding number of intranets.
To help accomplish that, Coordinate.com and Software.com today announced a
development and licensing deal.
Software.com will integrate the StreetTalk directory into its Post.Office
and InterMail messaging products and both
companies will sell the StreetTalk-enhanced versions of Post Office and
InterMail when they ship later this year. Coordinate.com will even bundle
the products with its BeyondMail client software as an
enterprise email solution for intranets. To cement the deal, Banyan also
will make an undisclosed
minority investment in closely held Software.com.
Coordinate.com will continue development for StreetTalk and will focus on
partnering with other developers for other Intranet services, such as
electronic commerce, firewalls, Web servers, and communications,
authentication, and access servers.
Despite all the effort, some are skeptical about Banyan's chances to
establish StreetTalk as an intranet standard.
"To me, the Internet standard is LDAP [Lightweight Directory Access
Protocol]," said Craig Burton, principal at industry research firm
The Burton Group. "The best directory will be the best implementation
that is fastest to
market," he added. "StreetTalk has functional benefits over Netscape Communication's directory service,
but it's questionable whether it has benefits over NDS."
The combined products will adhere to
Internet standards including Post Office Protocol (POP 3) and LDAP.
Banyan has more to worry about than NDS, however. Microsoft is working on its own
directory for Windows NT and hired away former Banyan chief Jim Alchin to do
it. The Redmond, Washington, giant has also been long rumored to
be interested in acquiring Banyan for its directory service.
"That rumor has surfaced repeatedly, and at one time it could have been the
smart thing," said Jesse Berst, publisher of the widely read Windows Watcher newsletter. "The
weakness of NT is still its directory."
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