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Stand-Alone Active Directory Downloaded 15,000 Times

Microsoft's stand-alone version of Active Directory has gained some modest traction in its eight-month lifespan.

Called Active Directory Application Mode, or AD/AM, the stand-alone directory was first offered in August. It unties Active Directory from the server operating system and the domain structure, eliminating one of the big criticisms of Active Directory in the Windows 2000 generation. AD/AM was not finished in time for the general release of Windows Server 2003. Instead Microsoft made it available as a freely downloadable "feature pack" for Windows Server 2003 customers.

Since August, AD/AM has been downloaded 15,000 times, says Michael Stephenson, group product manager of Microsoft's Windows Server Group. In addition, at least three third-party vendors have bundled AD/AM into their applications for redistribution.

The product is licensed three ways. The license to Windows Server 2003 gives the right to use it, ISVs can redistribute it with applications or developers can use AD/AM on their workstations. Some of the ISVs currently redistributing AD/AM in their applications are Oblix, OpenNetwork Technologies and Digital Persona.

Key differences between AD/AM and the regular Active Directory are that AD/AM runs as an independent service instead of an operating system service, it is not required to run on a domain controller, it can be run in multiple instances on a single server and it will run on Windows XP for development and testing purposes.

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Usage scenarios identified by Microsoft include deploying an application-specific directory, for use by application developers, for extranet access management and for migrations.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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