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Comparing NAM and IDM 2

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 1 Oct 2004

Posted 1 Oct 2004

Here's a perspective from the field on NAM (Novell Account Management) and IDM2 (Novell Identity Manager 2).


Both NAM and IDM2 are great products in their own respect. Novell does encourage customers to consider IDM2, as it offers a greater level of flexibility and possibilities. NAM is a good choice for straight up syncing.

Remember that NAM still requires an underlying DirXML engine. If you have NetWare 6.5, then the free DirXML 1.1a starter pack will qualify. Otherwise you will still have to purchase DirXML (or IDM2).

Also, understand that NAM will require you to reset everyone's password upon initial syncing of user accounts. Syncing occurs from eDir to a NAM subdirectory on eDir which then passes it along to the NAM agents. The agent then passes information on through to a platform, such as Active Directory.

IDM2, on the other hand, is a direct syncing between eDirectory and other platforms. This will help your environment in the long run as you grow your network and add additional platforms and applications to your network.

On the plus side, NAM is far cheaper than IDM2, easier to manage, and doesn't require any XML knowledge. When you buy NAM 3 you also get license for eDir, DirXML 1.1a, and the Windows Drivers. If you are going to install Active Directory when you upgrade to W2K or Win2003, then you probably want to use the DirXML AD driver. If you are not going to have AD installed, then you want NAM 3.0.2.

The NAM Evaluation Guide spells out all the details:

Product History

Traditionally, NAM was for large, complex networks with mainframes, AS/400, Linux/Unix servers and Windows servers. NAM is a one-way flow of information, eDir out, except for password sync, which is two-way. The relationship is one-to-many, and the many can be hundreds or even thousands of servers.

DirXML, now named Novell Identity Manager 2, was for applications and Windows servers. Information flow was two-way (if you chose it to be). The relationship is one-to-one, but you can have many drivers (but not hundreds). NAM and DirXML have always worked together.

NAM 3.0.2 is the latest release of the Account Management product. Customers are encourage to use IDM 2 drivers for bi-directional provisioning. If you're looking for provisioning solutions for windows, you'll want to go the IDM 2 route.

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