The 1980s#

In the 1980's we built the PC infrastructure. The PC utilized the ISA bus and there was a huge growth in the PC market place as (almost) any ISA card could be used in (almost) any ISA bus machine.

The 1990s#

In the 1990's we built the Network infrastructure. The network utilized IP and there was a huge growth in the network market place as (almost) any IP device could be used with any IP network.

The 2000's#

In the 2000's we will build the Application infrastructure. The applications will utilize LDAP and there will be a huge growth in the market place as all applications will be able to be used with any Application Infrastructure.

I am not sure if there is a connection to Application Infrastructure and AI, but maybe this is bigger than I first thought.

These pages are to help you in your quest building the Business Case for the Application Infrastructure.

Directory Services is not a solution. A directory service is a basic piece of an application infrastructure. LDAP is a protocol much like POP3. If you would ask a user, "Would you like some LDAP". You would get the same response if you asked them, "Would you like some POP3?". Their response would almost certainly be, "What is it?".

A user should not interact with DS any more than they would interact with POP3. They should be able to use their applications, as email, and the application should interact with the DS as it would with POP3, transparently to the user.

The application infrastructure#

The application infrastructure in 200x will be comprised of :
  • Directory Services - Based on LDAPv3, should be the "glue" that ties an organization's applications and information together. Usually this is an infrastructure that consist of several peices such as: Metadirectory services, Single-Sign-On, or reduced sign-on, replication services, etc.
  • PKI - Public Key Infrastructure where the certificates are in DS and note, PKI is an infrastructure itself.
  • Portal Services - How we present this wonderful application infrastructure to the Users. This too is built on an infrastructure of its own. The portal infrastructure is WEB Services. (.NET, J2EE, etc.)
  • Identity Management - How to manage this infrastructure of all of the above.

Each of these basics are whole enterprise projects on their own. None of them is really complete without the others. All of these enterprise projects are:

  • Long and typically take more than a year to become effective.
  • Expensive typically in the range of a CRM or ERP project.
  • Require cooperation and involvement of the entire enterprise.
  • Porvide the largest return on investment, only if all are implemented.

So, why should you start a Directory Services Project?

You have to do this to survive.

Just as building the LAN/WAN infrastructure was the thing in the 90's the application infrastructure will be the thing in, at least the first half, of the 2000's. Al the buzz words and acronyms you here revolve around the pieces of an Application Infrastructure.

  • EAI - Entreprise Application Integration
  • WEB Services - or .NET are no more than EAI on the currently defined preferred client platform, the browser.
  • Meta-directories - Which are becoming provisioning services which are becoming - Identity Management - Where does this start or end.
  • SOA -
"Directory services will be critical for the next generation of eBusiness networking because they reduce management costs and increase efficiency. Ultimately, however, the value of directory services - what will drive their return on investment - will be their role as a foundation for security applications" Giga Information Group

So, lets get busy.

Created Sunday, July 07, 1999 6:56:56 AM jim

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: