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Novell product streamlines network access

Single Sign-on, a new software tool, allows users to log on to a network only once to access a number of applications across multiple operating systems.

Network software provider Novell is attempting to alleviate the headaches associated with assigning a variety of passwords for access to networks and applications.

Novell Single Sign-on, a new software tool, is the latest move by the company to tie applications to its core Novell Directory Services (NDS) technology, a central repository for network-based information that functions like a sophisticated address book.

Novell executives said the Single Sign-on software will allow users to log on to a computer network only once and access a number of applications across multiple operating systems. The product does require the latest version of Novell's NetWare software.

Network administrators have long yearned for a single sign-on system, while security experts have been leery of the danger of consolidating a user's passwords in one place, according to industry observers.

Novell Single Sign-on provides security for password management, the company said. Each user's security profile, which includes log-in credentials and access rights information, is centrally located in NDS, which means the user is the only person authorized to access his or her password information.

All information on password and user credentials is stored using a unique, Novell technology called "SecretStore." Users can then add, modify, view or delete their profile information using a graphical interface (GUI).

In related news, Lotus said it will support Novell Single Sign-on in Lotus Notes.

In addition, this first release of Novell Single Sign-on includes support for Entrust applications, PeopleSoft applications and host-emulation products from Attachmate and Wall Data.

"There definitely will be more applications in the future," said Paul Corriveau, an NDS product marketing manager.

Executives even hinted the firm may include support for applications from Microsoft in the future, such as that firm's Exchange messaging system. "We're interested in working with them," Corriveau said.

Licenses for Novell Single Sign-on are available today for NetWare 5.0 customers for $26 per user.

News.com's Ben Heskett contributed to this report.1>