I purchased Pro Novell Open Enterprise Server (Apress, July 2005) by Sander van Vugt to get the big picture for a possible upcoming project, and I wasn’t disappointed. The first part brings an introduction to OES, discusses the two possible platforms (Netware & Linux) and covers the installation and upgrading of both Netware and SuSE Linux. These first two hundred pages are a bit boring for those who already have Unix/Linux experience (the umpteenth introduction to a Linux filesystem for me) and might be a bit light for those who have no experience at all. This part might be confusing to some, as it is difficult for Linux administrators to skip over the Netware stuff and vice versa. Part Two covers Core Services. The vital eDirectory is given a good deal of introduction of course, with a good differentiation between Novell’s and vanilla LDAP terminologies. Sundry screenshots give an overview of the capabilities of iManager which help in a hands-on situation. Managing Users in eDirectory and the associated Linux User Management are discussed in depth together with required PAM modules. What I missed is an explanation on what happens when a LUM desktop has no connection to eDirectory, and whether login scripts work on all platforms. The rest of part two concerns File Access, Volumes, Security, Software Management, Networking and iPrint. The third part is all about Web Services. The last part of the book carries advanced features such as clustering services and Identity Manager (table of contents). Being new to the Novell world, many of the OES concepts are new to me, and I missed deeper background information on some of them. As an example, the author has a page on NMAS, which appears to be a huge subsystem, and doesn’t give me enough in-depth background on it; I like knowing what goes on behind the scenes instead of just being told how to enable NMAS for a user. Van Vugt’s book was valuable to me, as it gave me a pretty good understanding of the software and capabilities included in Open Enterprise Server, and I recommend it to those who are looking for a tutorial-style book with a bit of background information.