Both Microsoft and Netscape have promised new versions of their certificate server products and tighter integration with directory services. Microsoft’s approach is to move Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) into the OS. The Active Directory (AD) support in Windows 2000 (Win2K)) is based on LDAP. Microsoft’s Certificate Server will still be part of Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), but it will integrate with AD instead of Exchange Server. This approach has the same advantage as Netscape’s solution, in which the certificate and directory servers integrate but are independent of the mail services. Win2K will also bring multilevel hierarchical certificate server support.

Netscape intends to continue its current architecture but greatly simplify the setup and maintenance of its Certificate Server product. Netscape will tighten the integration between its Messaging Server and Directory Server to minimize the number of management tools required.