Networking-software maker Novell said this week that it would release a public test version of the next upgrade to its directory-services technology, eDirectory. The new version, eDirectory 8.7, will be available April 15. Key features of the upgrade, announced at Novell's annual BrainShare user conference, include new Web-based administration of the system, and expanded support for Web technologies Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). After eDirectory 8.7 ships, Novell will release an add-on set of services supporting the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration protocol (UDDI). All these protocols are expected to play a key role in emerging Web services. Directories are databases of computer users, their systems and any other network-attached devices, such as printers. They've become more important as internal networks and the Internet have become more complex.
Separately, Novell announced an expansion of an alliance with Web software provider BEA Systems that involves an integration of technologies. Novell consulting subsidiary Cambridge Technology Partners has reaped $120 million in revenue from BEA-related services over the past two years, Novell said.