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EIM: Is it as good as it sounds?

EIM: Is it as good as it sounds?

I'm a systems administrator responsible for a corporate network that consists of a Windows NT 4.0 domain, an IBM iSeries running V5R2, and miscellaneous Linux boxes (I'm really new to the iSeries, so bear with me).

The iSeries runs our most critical business applications -- ERP and warehouse Management systems -- which are all accessed via the Client Access for Windows 5250 Emulator. The Windows network provides our users with the standards -- file and print sharing, e-mail, etc.

In an effort to improve manageability, and to make our users life easier, I would like to implement a single sign-on environment. I've been looking into some possible solutions, but most of them involve password synchronization or something similar. I am concerned about the security and flexibility of those offerings. However, while browsing the iSeries online documentation, I came across what IBM calls EIM. This seems like a great solution, however, requiring us to upgrade our Windows domain to Active Directory (which is planned anyway).

I'm wondering, what are the most common real-world solutions in this type of environment? EIM seems great, but is that what people are using, and what pitfalls should I look out for?


In the 'Network Authentication Service' documentation, there are scenarios that make this more of a real-life situation that might be easier to understand than all of the technical descriptions. You can access this and print the .pdf (about 50 pages) if you'd like. Click here, then go to Networking --> Networking security --> then Network authentication service. There's a 'print this topic' button. The "scenarios" start on page 10 "Network authentication service scenarios".

LDAP (directory services) and EIM are used in conjunction with the Network Authentication service. The "pitfall", if there are any, is perhaps the setup. It's a relatively new product so development is still learning the ins-and-outs of setting it up.

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