Re: Market acceptance of X.500

Brien.L.Wheeler@heckle.mitre.org Sat, 08 August 1992 14:08 UTC

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To: Rob Dickinson <robd@taligent.com>
Cc: osi-ds@cs.ucl.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Market acceptance of X.500
In-Reply-To: Your message of Mon, 03 Aug 92 13:27:14 -0800. <9208032028.AA03288@blowfish.taligent.com>
Date: Tue, 04 Aug 92 04:11:29 -0400
From: Brien.L.Wheeler@heckle.mitre.org

> Does anyone have any information on the possible market acceptance of X.500
> in industry?  I am wondering if anyone has any information as to how many
> companies are already pursuing an X.500-based strategy and how many are
> planning to do so in the next 2 to 3 years.

Well, here at MITRE we have initiated a project to architect the integration
of OSI services into our heterogeneous LAN environment.  We consider X.400
and X.500 to be first in the priority queue for deployment (after CLNP routing
of course) -- not only because they have added value over existing services,
but because we feel that together they form a solid infrastructure to support
other services (signed X.400 transmission of EDI documents, user-transparent
conversion through ODIF in the X.400 mail system, etc.).

We currently have a directory pilot which is evolving in parallel with
an architecture document that describes how we will collect, organize and
maintain information in our Directory, what access controls will be on
information, and other operational issues.  Our X.500 pilot has become
a good showcase demonstration of how OSI services offer added value over
most if not all existing services -- we have sound clips and JPEG photos in
our pilot directory, and we scripted a tool that resolves a search filter,
pulls email addresses out of the directory, and composes a draft message to
those recipients (e.g., "start a message to all the department heads in
organization X").  Approximate matching is also a big plus.

We are pursuing a somewhat aggressive schedule in that we expect to enter
a limited deployment phase for X.500 during the next year.  Although that
may not seem aggressive on the face of it, you must consider that we are
talking about a service that needs to be operationally supported throughout
MITRE on a number of end-user platforms (Macintosh, PC, Unix, VMS, MVS, VM...).

> I am also curious about who is (or will be) the major suppliers of X.500
> servers and software.  I have obtained (possibly through this distribution)
> a catalog of X.500 implementations, but have no idea of the relative
> success or acceptance of any of these.

> I am also curious if people have any information or recommendations
> regarding the quality of specific X.500 providers.  I am interested in both
> shipping server software and source code implementation.

It would not be appropriate for me to make vendor-specific comments in
a forum like this, but as for source code there is only one place to
go that I know of -- the ISODE Consortium.  However, many things must be
considered when purchasing networking products, not the least of which
can be the availability/quality of support, company history, etc.

> I apologize if this query is directed to the wrong forum, and would be glad
> for pointers to the right one if that is the case.

No, I think you hit it right on the head.

Hope this helps -- feel free to contact me directly for more information.

     Brien L. Wheeler
     The MITRE Corporation
     blw@mitre.org