Novell includes Windows CardSpace in Novell Access Manager

* Novell Access Manager 3.1 boasts built-in support for WS-Federation

I haven't chatted with the folks from Novell in a while, so I was glad of the opportunity to talk with Lee Howarth, product manager for Novell's Access Manager last week about the new release - Version 3.1 - of the product. According to Novell and most of the news stories I saw about the release, the big news is that Novell Access Manager 3.1 now includes 'built-in support for WS-Federation.'

In fact, reading the press release (parroted in many of the news stories), you’d think Novell was some sort of dependency of Microsoft (which, along with IBM, created the WS-* protocols). You could almost hear the hushed tones as you read “Leveraging Novell's groundbreaking technical collaboration with Microsoft…” grants the company a real breakthrough: “As a result, Novell Access Manager enables IT security administrators to grant non-Windows directories users, partners or organizations, single sign-on access to Microsoft Web-based products such as Microsoft Office SharePoint.”

Except, of course, others have managed that access for some time now.

The real breakthrough for me, at least in terms of Microsoft services, was Novell’s inclusion of Windows CardSpace as an authentication type for its multifactor authentication. Novell, through its sponsorship of the Bandit Project, has been in the forefront of information card technology, and this release of Access Manager makes it easy for identity technology managers to add this factor to their risk-based authentication schemes.

This may well be the first CardSpace implementation in a business-focused product by a non-Microsoft vendor. Now that is “ground breaking”.

Here’s a list of what’s new in Access Manager 3.1:

* Support for WS-Federation Identity Federation Standard

* Delegated Administration

* SSL VPN Desktop Clean-up and Secure Folder

* No Access Gateway Requirement for SSL VPN

* SSL VPN Client Integrity-based Access

* Application Programming Interfaces for Authorization

Even though it's only a “.1” update, Novell Access Manager 3.1 is, to me, a significant new release. Check all the details here and see if you don’t agree.

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