Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Have identity, will travel

That's the title of an excellent article by my friend Gerry Gebel of The Burton Group on the subject of federation. It appeared in the January 27 issue of Network Computing. Gerry gives a great overview of the two competing standards in this area (WS-* and SAML) and briefly discusses the emergence of a new proposed standard called WS-SX.

Gerry gives a lucid overview with plenty of diagrams - something that it love to see. If you need an overview of federation this is a good starting point so check it out. A few things that I'd like Gerry or someone else to address at some point...

- How are firms that have implemented external federation solved the legal challenges involved?

- What progress, if any, is being made on federation of "thick client" applications? I'm glad we have solved web-based federation but there's still a lot of thick clients out there.

- What's the latest on externalization of authorization information amongst the platform vendors? Not just from a federation perspective but simply from building a web application.

Gerry concludes his article by stating that "making federated IdM work requires a delicate balancing act". I couldn't agree more.

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