Skip to body

Enterprise Information System Committee

Executive Summary for Active Directory


In our current environment, CWU relies on Novell eDirectory for directory services and centrally managing access to information systems and resources throughout the enterprise. While our current directory services platform is an enterprise solution, Novell eDirectory is not suited to the direction the University is taking as related to collaboration, information sharing, and information systems integration. In particular, Novell eDirectory is not suited for the following reasons:

  1. MyCWU: Novell eDirectory does not natively integrate with PeopleSoft or our single sign-on direction (Shibboleth). Customizations are being created to address this shortcoming and will have to be maintained until eDirectory can be replaced.
  2. Security: Novell eDirectory does not natively support more scalable logical access approaches, such as Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) thereby requiring higher level management and maintenance as well as requiring longer cycle time to address business unit needs.
  3. Microsoft Office 365: A software business and collaboration suite offered by Microsoft. This solution is dependent on integration with Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange. It is not suited for integration with Novell eDirectory.
  4. Voice-over-IP: The University is evaluating several vendors and technologies associated with a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) solution. One of the potential solutions is the integration of Microsoft Lync. This platform requires Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange as the backend to function properly.
  5. Market Trend: Novell eDirectory is losing more and more market share and it is a dying technology. Most organizations that rely on Novell eDirectory have – or are in the process of – migrating to a different directory services solution. In addition, the company Novell has been sold several times in the last few years, indicating instability within the organization and a lack of confidence from the market.
  6. Integration: Most third-party vendors have stopped providing integration solutions for Novell eDirectory as part of their standard offerings. While customizable interfaces and integrations are available, they are generally not supported as part of their off-the-shelf solutions.


Active Directory is a scalable directory services platform that facilitates the authentication and authorization of all users across an enterprise. It is supported by the vast majority of third-party vendors and is the market leader across all sectors. Migrating from eDirectory to Active Directory will not only support many of our upcoming projects, it will also facilitate integration with future projects and initiatives.

In light of these trends and initiatives, the University needs to migrate from Novell eDirectory to Microsoft Active Directory in order to provide more robust directory services throughout the enterprise. This project could be started immediately. Once the Microsoft Active Directory infrastructure is deployed, coexistence between eDirectory will be established. This will allow for synchronization between the eDirectory and Active Directory enabling us to rollout in a controlled fashion.

Posted 11-2013

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.