[ldapdata] LDAP Newsletter 11-07 (MaXware)

  • From: Hallett German <hrgerman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ldapdata@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 07 Nov 2004 19:31:24 -0500

Hallett German
Alessea Consulting

-- Attached file included as plaintext by Ecartis --

Topics:  LDAP Browser Interviews:
Introduction and MaXware Directory Explorer

Issue Contents:

* LDAP Browser Interviews: Introduction
* LDAP Browser Interviews: Ira Horowitz & Tor Even Dahl
  -- MaXware Directory Explorer
* Next Time: What Can Go Wrong with LDAP Administration and
* Articles and Comments Welcome
This newsletter is sponsored by Alessea Consulting.

Business/IT Services for small and medium businesses.
Specializing in network identity, project management, and
business development.

Visit us and read more about the Alessea difference.

URL: http://www.alessea.com
RSS: http://www.alessea.com/feed.xml
Blog: http://alessea.com/v-web/b2/
Phone: 860-346-9121
By Hallett German

Topic: LDAP Browser: Interviews

Recently, your newsletter staff submitted a series of
questions to all known MS-Windows developers of LDAP Browser
software. (Coral Directory, Cygsoft, CodeMerc, Microsoft,
and Ram's Head Software were unable to be reached. We would
love to include you as well!) These questions concerned product
origin, development process, next product release, and more.
Answers are printed here without revision except for minor changes.
A few editors' notes may be added for clarification.

You can find the complete list of questions here:

Topic: LDAP Browser Interviews:
Ira Horowitz & Tor Even Dahl -- MaXware Directory Explorer
MaXware is a company to always keep an eye on in the directory
and identity management arena. Two products of interest to
LDAP users and administrators are MaXware Directory Explorer
which can be downloaded for free at
http://www.maxware.com/Products/MDE/Download/index.html and
MaXware Virtual directory where one can learn more information
at http://www.maxware.com/Products/MVD/Virtual-Directory-index.html

Q1. Why did you decide to create "yet" another LDAP
directory browser when so many already exist?

Ira: We created the first revision back when the only available
browsers were the complex management applications supplied with
the X.500 directories. These weren't suitable for end-user/desktop
deployment, so we made our own easy-to-use read-only LDAP browser
that sat in the familiar Explorer interface. Since then we've mainly
maintained it by adding support for later Outlook releases and features
based on customer requests. Version 4 was also recently made available
for free.

Tor Even: We created the first revision back in 1996 and this was shown
at the US EMA (Editor's Note: Electronic Messaging Association)event
in 1997 Philadelphia. At this time there was not many LDAP browsers
available and we focused to not make yet another application
(i.e. an exe file) by making this browser as a plug-in for the very
well-known Windows Explorer. Users with skills in Explorer handling
files would easily take on board this LDAP browser.

Q2. What is your process for deciding which features to
include in future releases of your browser?
Q3.How are these future release features captured? (e.g.
User suggestions, employee input, bug tracking software)

Ira: Customer feedback and general improvements based upon
upgrades to the OS (Windows) and supporting applications

Q4a. Against what "checklist" did you use to see if your
browser was LDAP-standard compliant? How do you track
changes in the LDAP standard?  How much time does your
company spend doing this?

Ira: The browser is made to be tolerant to deviations to
LDAP schemas and configurable to support custom objects/attributes.
So outside of the basic LDAP protocol compliancy for authentication,
we don't really need to test more than the basic functionality.

Tor Even:
Through the years, we and our customers have run this utility against
all types of directory servers. The LDAP standard is very static
and no known problems in the browser is known today.

The browser is schema-agnostic but given attributes can be
selected for display views.

Q5.  Do you plan to continue upgrading the product for the
near future?

Ira: Yes, this is the intention.

Q6.  What are some of the features to be included in the
next major release?

Ira: It will take some time to get this feedback from the developer,
but I don't see anything monumental being added, keep in mind that
V4 is now available for free and this is a tool that we give away to draw
attention for MaXware.

Q7. What lesser-known LDAP browser feature would your
users might find helpful?

Ira: I believe everyone that downloads the product is really
looking for different functionality. I think the ease of
installation and use is of the most benefit.

Q8. Do you plan to add an API so users can customize the
product? If you have/had an API, what types of things
do/might customers use it for?

Ira: There are some customization features in the product
already that are available to those who wish to purchase a site license.

Tor Even: The product is very customization friendly and
action tasks can be defined for actions like sending mail
as a result of marking entries.

Q9.  Which LDAP Directory Servers have
you tested against?

Ira: Sun One, OpenLDAP, Active Directory (not a true LDAP directory)
and some others

Tor Even: Sun One, OpenLDAP, Active Directory, ADAM, CP Injoin, Siemens,
IBM directory, Nexor, Isode, eTrust, Exchange 5.5 and more.

Also Virtual Directories like MaXware Virtual Directory can be
used as source for MDE. Virtual Directory behaves like real
directory servers, but the back-end will often be databases and multiple

Q10.  Describe your testing process (e.g. software used,
process, tracking, etc)

Ira: MaXware creates sets of test data using DirectoryMark
for each directory and compares the information with the results
provided through the browser.
(Editor's Note: This is probably Mindcraft's DirectoryMark
benchmarking tool. It can found at
http://www.mindcraft.com/directorymark/ )

Q11.  What are some of the extremes that you have tested for
(longest search, etc)

Ira: I can pass this along to one of the techs, but as the product is
not a profit generator, extensive testing is not something we
spend a lot of time on.

Tor Even: We have run against directory with millions of entries.
Normal LDAP limitations like time limit and size limit will
stop too heavy searches. Observe that it is the directory server
that actually does the operation and MDE is only presenting the result.

12.  Was there a question that you wished that was asked?
What was the answer that you would had given?

Ira: How much do you charge for your browser - Free at
our website www.maxware.com. I think that's it....

Next Time: What Can Go Wrong with LDAP Administration and

Since I am unable to conduct any more interviews with LDAP
Browser developers, the time is right for a new series. I plan
to cover some of the things that can go wrong in day to day
LDAP Operations.

Topic: Articles and Comments Welcome

I welcome 100-800 word articles for inclusion in future
issues. Vendors and LDAP data administrators are
particularly welcome. Of course, you receive full credit and
ownership of your article. Thanks in advance for your help.

Please feel free to comment on how useful it was and what
you would like to see in the future.
Contact me at hallett.german@xxxxxxxxxxxx
About Hal German

Hallett German has 20 years experience in a variety of
IT positions and in implementing stable infrastructures.
This includes directories/messaging architecture,
desktop support, and IT management. Hal is the founder
of the Northeast SAS Users Group and former President
of the REXX Language Association. He is the author of
three books on scripting languages. Periodically, he
writes articles on various business and IT topics.

Contacting Hal German/Past Issues

Mail: hallett.german@xxxxxxxxxxx

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Copyright Alessea Consulting 2004

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