Directory Products Update – 19.0 Capabilities

The below is a list of the new capabilities brought to our Directory products for the 19.0 release. 19.0 adds a lot of extra functionality across the board for our messaging products, along with a complete rewrite of the codebase so that future releases and bug fixes can be developed more quickly. For the full release notes please check the individual product updates, available from the customer portal and evaluation sections of our website.


Use of several new 19.0 features depend on Cobalt 1.3 or later.


Product Activation 

M-Vault uses the new product activation.  Product activation is managed with the Messaging Activation Server (MAS) which provides a Web interface to facilitate managing activation of messaging and other Isode products. MAS is provided as a tool, but installed as an independent component.   

Headless Setup

M-Vault, in conjunction with Cobalt, provides a mechanism to set up a server remotely with a Web interface only. This complements setup on the server using the M-Vault Console GUI.

Password Storage

Password storage format defaults to SCRAM-SHA-1 (hashed). This hash format is preferred as it enables use of SASL SCRAM-SHA-1 authentication which avoids sending plain passwords. Storage of passwords in the plain (previous default) is still allowed but discouraged.

LDAP/AD Passthrough

An LDAP Passthrough mechanism is added so that M-Vault users can be authenticated over LDAP against an entry in another directory. The key target for this mechanism is where there is a need to manage information in M-Vault, but to authenticate users with password against users provisioned in Microsoft Active Directory.  This is particularly important for Isode applications such as M-Switch, M-Link, and Harrier which utilize directory information not generally held in Active Directory.

Cobalt provides capabilities to manage accounts utilizing LDAP Passthrough.

OAuth Enhancements

A number of enhancements to OAuth, which was introduced in R18.1

  • OAUTH service has been integrated  into the core M-Vault server, which simplifies configuration and improves security,
  • Operation without Client Secret, validating OAUTH Client using TLS Client Authentication.  This improves security and resilience.
  • Allow client authentication using Windows SSO, so that Windows SSO can work for OAUTH Clients.  This enables SSO to be used for Isode’s applications using OAuth.

Sodium Sync

  • Some enhancements to Sodium Sync to improve operation on Windows Server.
  • Option that will improve performance for any remote server with a large round-trip-time. 

Cobalt 1.3 Release Features

Cobalt 1.3 depends on M-Vault 19.0 or subsequent versions

M-Vault Management Support

  • M-Vault Bootstrap.   Enables operation in conjunction with M-Vault 19.0 to support headless bootstrap.
  • Managing users in M-Vault groups, such as Directory Server Administrators  and Messaging Configuration Read/Write.  This enables Cobalt to control user and operator rights to access M-Vault.
  • AD/LDAP passthrough support
    • Allow users (per domain) to support mandatory or partial passthrough
    • Set and validate passthrough entry for user
    • Identify users in passthrough server that might be added to domain

Messaging Management

  • Profile Editor for supporting and managing M-Switch Profiler.
    • SIC Coverage UI. Provide full list of SICS, showing which addresses each one goes to.   This enables operator to ensure that all SICs are sensibly handled.
  • File Transfer By Email capability is now managed by Cobalt, replacing capability previously in MConsole.
  • For Organizations and Military DLs enable control manage capability functions:
    • Max Message Size
    • Max Line Length (for ACP 127 destinations)
    • Charset Restrictions (for ACP 127 destinations)
    • Allows/block attachments
  • Option to show for a user which DLs the user is in, and give easy addition to other DLs.  This facilitates managing DL membership.

New Views

  • Non-Human Users (Special Users).  Need to support accounts with passwords that are not humans.   For XMPP, Email or both.  
  • View for end users, rather than administrators.  User can:
    • Change password. 
    • See all of own entry and modify  attributes.   The list of modifiable attributes can be configured.
    • See references to entry and email list membership.
  • User Groups, to enable management of directory groups (Distinguished Names).

Cobalt Access Control

  • New Cobalt roles, that can enable selective control of which users can access directory admin controls, and which users can set OAUTH rights and can add OAUTH Clients.  
  • Restrict Password set/change rights, so that only selected Cobalt administrators can do this.

Security Enhancements

  • When deleting a user, remove the password.   This will make it safe for applications searching whole DIT as you can’t authenticate with a deleted user’s account. 
  • Security Clearance can be selected for any role or user, based on a configured catalogue.  This supports key M-Switch and Harrier feature to check clearances. 


  • When assigning a new email, search entire DIT for conflicts, not just Cobalt area.   This  helps SASL resilience
  • Can add Photos to Routed UAs and Organizations.  
  • Check References on Delete. Cobalt has a “References” button on user/role form that displays all references of a user/role.  On deleting, references are deleted as well.
  • Tool to check references to users in AD, so that when users in AD are deleted, dangling references can be picked up.
  • Remove default domain concept
  • On deletion of domain in Cobalt, give option to delete all the domain data
  • Option to end all  cobalt logged in sessions of an operator, to allow an operator to logout from all browsers with a single action
  • There is also an option for an operator with appropriate rights  to end sessions of another Cobalt operator.