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  1. Technology
November 6, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Open Systems Interconnection specialist Retix Inc, Santa Monica, California told the Annual Conference of the Electronic Mail Association in New Orleans the other day that it will join forces with the leading suppliers of electronic messaging products and services to provide an architecture for the automatic transfer and updating of electronic mail directory information on X400 networks. The technology, known as Directory Exchange or DX, will provide for both Agents, which send and receive directory updates accessible by users via various mail packages, and directory Servers, which can act as centralised clearing houses for all directory information within an enterprise. In essence DX does exactly what the X500 directory standard is meant to provide, but a Retix spokeswoman claimed that with practical implementations of the X500 1988 standard making slow progress, DX will provide a quicker way to link proprietary directory databases, and at the same time enable inter-working with X500 systems as they emerge. Certainly the list of names that Retix wheeled out as supporters is impressive. Digital Equipment Corp, Pacific Bell Connection (a value-added X400 service), Soft-Switch Inc, and Sprint International Inc all announced their intentions to provide access to their hub-based directory services for end systems using the Directory Exchange format. Retix will also work with Novell Inc to adapt DX for use within Novell’s NetWare MHS messaging engine product line. The company says that it will also be working with Banyan Systems Inc, Beyond Inc, cc:Mail Inc, a division of Lotus Development Corp, CE Software Inc-QuickMail, Enable Software Inc, Microsoft Corp, Phoenix Systems Inc, Starnine Technologies Inc, and WordPerfect Corp to implement Directory Exchange facilities on local area network-based systems. Also participating in the announcement is value-added network service provider Infonet, which is considering the addition of Directory Exchange as a feature of its value-added messaging service.

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