Virtual directories, in general, aim to mask the complexities of identity management. Nick Nikols, a research director at Gartner, says identity data may be stored in a format that isn't particularly user friendly. A virtual directory, he says, "can abstract away from that and generate a view that makes it easier to consume."
The role of the virtual directory is to aggregate the data stored in different identity repositories, Nikols adds. That way, an application doesn't have to go to each source to obtain the information.
SNB's RadiantOne deployment focuses on the virtual directory, joins and interception scripts, but it may move into Web services as well. SNB has been using its own Web services to provide information to applications. Bishop says SNB conducted a side-by-side comparison of its web services with Radiant Logic's Web services and found the out-of-the-box services handled about 95 percent of what its custom services could accomplish.
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