Friday, September 07, 2007

Does your application support ADAM, Jabba?

OK, I recently posted asking the question "Does your application support AD?" and James McGovern was kind enough to comment on that post over at his blog by asking a follow-on question regarding support for ADAM...

Jackson Shaw asks the most wonderful question of software vendors. The funny thing is that he should have also asked this about ADAM. Do you know how many identity managements support Active Directory but not specifically ADAM? Likewise, many of the ECM vendors will say that they support Active Directory but for authentication. They will of course require you to copy the user store locally which is fugly. The real question is why aren't software vendors writing better directory-enabled code? Us customers desire it and many of us demand it yet it still doesn't happen...

James is quite right. I didn't ask about ADAM and I should have. ADAM was designed to be a viral product. I mean viral in a good way, not in the bad way. In other words, a product that could be easily installed by anyone and didn't require a committee to say "Sure, go ahead and try out that new directory service" and from that perspective it has been wildly successful.

Every customer meeting I go to always starts with a standard series of questions that I have just to help me maintain some statistics like...

  • What OS do you run your domain controllers on?

  • 32-bit? 64-bit?

  • When do you think you'll go to Windows Server 2008?

  • etc, and I *always* have this one:

  • Looking at, using, testing ADAM and if so, what are the specifics?

Not surprisingly, most customers are doing something with it. In fact, some customers are running >10 million users in ADAM for customer web-access and it frightens me that they don't have comprehensive recovery, audit and monitoring plans. Yes, this too is fugly.

So vendors, what are your plans? Within Quest I have dictated - kind of like Jabba the Hut - that all of our products treat AD and ADAM the same - if we support AD then we must support ADAM. I still have a bit of work to do there but we've got that support in a number of products already and more are coming.

Note to ADAM users: Ah, if it is a directory it is probably doing something critical. You might want to consider investing in backup, monitoring and audit tools. LDP.EXE is not the only tool you need...

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