Novell Cozies Up to Microsoft SharePoint

Posted in Identity Management, Mail, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

HERE IS THE press release announcing this latest development.

Novell today announced a new version of its access management solution. Novell® Access ManagerTM 3.1 now offers built-in support for WS-federation, a single sign-on feature typically offered in costly, supplementary federated identity products. This makes Novell Access Manager the industry’s most full-featured Web access management offering.

Leveraging Novell’s groundbreaking technical collaboration with Microsoft, Novell Access Manager 3.1 offers support for WS-Federation, one of the WS-* standard set of interoperable access and authentication standards, allowing organizations to easily and securely share business data in mixed-source IT environments. As a result, Novell Access Manager enables IT security administrators to grant non-Windows directory users, partners or organizations, single sign-on access to Microsoft web-based products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint*.

This was promptly covered by IDG News Service (also in here and slightly modified here).

Novell Monday unveiled support for a federation protocol in its identity software that represents the first fruits of its 18-month-old interoperability lab work with Microsoft as it relates to access management.

Novell released version 3.1 of its Access Manager with support for the WS-Federation protocol that is prominent in Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services and its forthcoming Geneva identity platform for the cloud.

There’s little more information about it here and here.

Novell Releases Access Manager 3.1 with Built-in Support for WS-Federation


Earlier this week, Novell released its Access Manager 3.1, which includes an SSL-VPN that provides authentication integration.

From ZDNet (also here):

Novell on Tuesday released a new version of its Access Manager authentication system that allows non-Windows directory users to more easily access Microsoft Web-based products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint.

CRN covered this too:

Novell has updated its access management solution, Novell(R) Access Manager (TM) 3.1, to include a built-in support for Web Services Federation.

Anthony Turco, business leader for identity and security management at Novell APAC told CRN that the single sign-on feature is typically offered in supplementary federated identity products

We’ll be hearing more about it later this month in GWAVACon.

Omni (www.omni-ts.com), the GroupWise Integration Company, today announced that it will unveil two new integration options for Novell GroupWise and Microsoft SharePoint at GWAVACon Las Vegas (January 25-27). The first integration option delivers transparent, bi-directional, server-side synchronization of GroupWise and SharePoint appointments, tasks, address books and support issues. End-users can access the data from the application of their choice. The second option is to embed GroupWise WebAccess Web Parts directly into the SharePoint Portal user interface. This integration provides the same functionality for GroupWise WebAccess in SharePoint as is available for Microsoft Outlook/Exchange.

GWAVACon sort of replaces BrainShare, which was called off [1, 2, 3]. NetworkWorld (IDG) does not forget it so quickly.

FUN STUFF: This came too late to include in the fun stuff I told you about before the holidays, but you still could spend a few minutes watching this great video developed for last year’s Novell BrainShare conference.

All in all, here we have another case of Novell enabling Microsoft lock-in.

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  1. Ian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 11:43 am


    All in all, here we have another case of Novell enabling Microsoft lock-in.

    Actually, I see it the other way around. Organizations who want to run sharepoint can’t do it properly without migrating to active directory and exchange. There’s your vendor lock-in. Believe it or not, organizations sometimes want to use some of Microsoft’s software. If someone can run sharepoint without having to go full bore into migrating all of their systems over, then that’s a good thing.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 11:49 am


    At the same time, this also promotes SharePoint.

  3. Dan O'Brian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 11:50 am


    Roy twists and distorts facts until they fit inside his narrow “Microsoft & Novell are Satan” view of the world and no amount of proof can ever persuade him otherwise, doesn’t matter that all the evidence in the world is against him, all he has to do is point to a previous article where he writes about a conspiracy theory and say “we’ve discussed this before”.

  4. Dan O'Brian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 11:52 am


    Roy: as Ian said, some people want to use SharePoint. It doesn’t promote it, it says “If you WANT to use SharePoint, we can make it so that you don’t have to run AD”.

    By your logic, Wine promotes Windows because it allows people to run Windows software without having to run Windows.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 11:54 am


    Wine encourages some developers (like Blizzard for a fact) to just work on Wine compatibility rather than a proper port.

    Same situation with SharePoint.

  6. Dan O'Brian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm


    People who wouldn’t bother doing a proper port anyway.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 12:08 pm


    Blizzard would.

    I don’t know about Google (Picasa) and Adobe (Photoshop) though..

  8. Andre said,

    January 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm


    I completely disagree with your opinion here. Maybe it would be true if Wine was close to alpha quality. Wine is experimental software and even applications you can run don’t feel native and lack integration.

  9. Ian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm


    At the same time, this also promotes SharePoint.


    Maybe. But what you’re saying is that people shouldn’t have the option to run sharepoint in a mixed environment or that it’s somehow a bad thing to do so, and frankly, that’s not your decision or mine. That’s up to the individual or organization to decide whether they want to deal with sharepoint.

    Just to make something clear, I don’t work with sharepoint and I probably wouldn’t consider it in my current position.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm


    I am pretty certain that Microsoft is pleased with this work from Novell, and that alone speaks volumes.

  11. Victor Soliz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm


    WINE is experimental

    It hit 1.0, so it is stable, seems to work on mainstream apps like word, not like I tried it. As a rule of thumb games older than two years old work. Most win32 apps seem to work at least 98% well. Lack of integration seems to be only about the GUI theme nowadays, and it happens with GTK/QT if you are on KDE/Gnome as well. WINE takes charge to integrating the apps to the desktop in other regards, I have seen taskbar icons appear, etc.

    Blizzard would.

    Nowadays porting apps is not as hard as people think. They seem to be under the impression that it is excessively hard, but you should take a look to when apps and games become mobile. Specially blizzard, already targets OS/X which forces them to probably have an extra layer between the game and the OS which is possible to use to port easily to Linux, this sort of layer seems to be common in most profssional apps (non-MS) and games since they have to target at least OS/X and in the case of games, they have to target PC, OS/X, Playstation , WII, Xbox, etc… Games are a good example cause a random company could ask the big one to port a game to a mobile platform and, even being a foreign group of developers it actually happens…

    Blizzard has actually developed and tested a Linux WoW client, they just wouldn’t release it, it is not because of WINE though it is because they don’t think it is going to be profitable. I think that even blizzard working on WINE compatibility would be a great change, but I don’t think they ever claimed so?

    I love how Novell defenders have even evolved to become MS apologists lately.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm


    I don’t think they evolved. It has always been like that.

  13. Ian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm


    I am pretty certain that Microsoft is pleased with this work from Novell, and that alone speaks volumes.

    Thanks for ignoring my post and continuing to froth rhetoric. Let’s just for a second assume you’re right about that…who cares? Really, who gives a toss whether or not Microsoft is happy with Novell over this or not. The point is, customers have a choice, whether you like it or not.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm


    Freedom of choice is not freedom. Sure, they could also choose DRM and IE.

  15. Dan O'Brian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm


    I am pretty certain that Microsoft is pleased with this work from Novell, and that alone speaks volumes.

    What gives you that idea? Microsoft are losing money on that front. They’d obviously make more if those companies also used AD. It’s incredibly likely that those SharePoint users would have used SharePoint regardless of whether or not that they had to use AD.

  16. Dan O'Brian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm


    Freedom of choice is freedom.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm


    The ethical and political issues are not addressed by the slogan of “freedom of choice (for developers only)”


  18. Dan O'Brian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm


    That quote does not address freedom of choice for users, just developers.

  19. Ian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm


    That quote does not address freedom of choice for users, just developers.

    Moreover, even if it did address users, it’s not GNU’s, nor mine, nor Roy’s, nor anyone else’s right to tell anyone else what is freedom and how to define it.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm


    Freedom means many things in English.

  21. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    January 18, 2009 at 6:36 am


    “At the same time, this also promotes SharePoint.”

    It’s a selling point for Access Manager, SharePoint is here just an example of one of the many things that can be accelerated with Access Manager. The Microsoft market is huge and there is where Novell want’s there stuff in. The vision here may be explained like once Access Manager is in, that may lead easier to adoption of other seperate systems instead of the ‘Microsoft only’ strategy that lot’s of companies have. That’s includes Linux based solutions. This is choosing for flexibility (accelerate what you like), independence (of vendor and solution) and freedom (select whatever what fits you needs and not what a vendor want’s you to choose, eg. like SharePoint).

  22. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    January 18, 2009 at 6:51 am


    “Omni (www.omni-ts.com), the GroupWise Integration Company, today announced that it will unveil two new integration options for Novell GroupWise and Microsoft SharePoint at GWAVACon Las Vegas (January 25-27). The first integration option delivers transparent, bi-directional, server-side synchronization of GroupWise and SharePoint.”

    This is actually a verry good thing. The world is just not black OR white, but it’s a mixed one.

    Omni made a solution that does take away the need away, in this specific case, to replace the current infrastructure (eg. running GroupWise on Linux) when as a -business requirement- SharePoint is introduced. This in most case would start a fire where after the SharePoint introduction the infrastructure would be repaced with Exchange and … all existing server with Windows server, cause the impression people get is ‘it just works better with…’ and yest of course indeed that’s the Microsoft message:)

    The Omni solution takes away the need for a rip and replace as CRM solutions are introduced in an company, and as a bonus you get a -server side- synchronisation solution. Normally the integration between a CRM product and SharePoint is a ‘manual’ and/or client side integration.

  23. Ian said,

    January 18, 2009 at 7:52 pm


    This in most case would start a fire where after the SharePoint introduction the infrastructure would be repaced with Exchange and … all existing server with Windows server, cause the impression people get is ‘it just works better with…’ and yest of course indeed that’s the Microsoft message:)

    Sebastiaan, that’s the point I was getting at as well. If someone is not involved in or around IT purchasing decisions then that person probably doesn’t understand that this is a common scenario and that drawing a line in the sand just isn’t realistic.

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