Figure A shows the part Dfs plays in NT's new directory service solution, called the Active Directory. Brief descriptions of the other key parts of the diagram follow--watch for more details in future issues of the magazine.

Active Directory: Said to combine the best features of DNS and X.500, the Active Directory will store all accounts, groups, domains, security, and so forth.

Browser (DSWeb): The Directory Service Web (DSWeb) interface will let an administrator manage the Active Directory from a Web browser, locally or remotely. DSWeb will receive information from Internet Information Server (IIS), which will service Active Pages (HTML and ActiveX pages created on the fly). IIS will use the Active Service Protocol (ASP) to communicate with the Active Directory.

Microsoft Management Console: Microsoft Management Console (MMC), previously known as Slate, is a framework for management applications. Microsoft and other vendors will provide snap-ins that let NT administrators manage almost any part of NT from this one interface.

LDAP: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) will let NT's Directory Service (NTDS) talk to any other directory system that supports LDAP through wldap32.dll. This feature also will let the Active Directory manage a non-NT directory service.

FIGURE A:

Where Dfs fits into the Active Directory solution

NT4: The Active Directory will be able to coexist with NT 4's directory service, allowing an easy migration path to the new solution. You will be able to convert your primary domain controller (PDC) to support the new features, but it will appear as a regular PDC to existing backup domain controllers (BDCs) and clients.

NW3 and NW4: The Active Directory will be able to communicate directly with NetWare (NW3, NW4) through NetWare's Core Protocol (NCP).