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Pimp my directory

A directory service that goes beyond typical directory service offerings

Security Identity Management Alert By Dave Kearns, Network World
April 15, 2009 12:04 AM ET
Kearns
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A reference came in just after I'd written last month's lament about the lack of new endeavors in the realm of directory services. I put it aside, but it's worth taking a look at now.

Australia’s eB2Bcom has been around since 1996 as an independent software vendor and consultant in the areas of Identity & Access Management, IT & Data Security, and eMobility solutions for Windows Mobile 5/6. In particular, they’ve concentrated on the areas of Defense, Police, Homeland Security & Intelligence.

In 2004, realizing that nothing much further was being done on the directory front, they started to roll their own software and systems, including a new directory system - View500.

According to my friend Martin Kuppinger (of Kuppinger-Cole): “Basically, it [View500] is a directory service which goes beyond typical directory service offerings, which mainly focus on being the best LDAP server. They have for example integrated XML support, for SAML, XACML, or ebXML. Thus, they go well beyond the DSML support some directory services are offering - with DSML being in fact sort of a web service incarnation of LDAP. The difference is that the semantics of XML documents are supported. Other features include the matching of synonyms or typing correction for improved search and indexing.”

But wait, that’s not all (as the midnight pitchman always says on TV). Martin continues: “eB2Bcom is adding additional features. The support for SAML and XACML is particularly interesting. In adding these capabilities to the directory service, that system can for example act as an integrated identity provider for federation. Instead of having a federation system and a directory server, it is one system with obviously less communication overhead. The same is true with XACML support and the directory acting as PEP (Policy Enforcement Point). One system instead of two or three in typical implementations.”

Martin says to think of all this as sort of a “pimp my directory”!

It is an interesting concept – if all of the various facets of identity management can be plugged in to the directory service (rather than simply being bolted on as an afterthought) it does make support and maintenance easier. It also revives the debate of suite versus best-of-breed which we last broached almost two years ago (see "Creating an identity management plan is like a game of Monopoly"). But you should take a look at View500 and make up your own mind.

Upcoming events: It’s time to get registered for this year’s Catalyst Conference, the Burton Group event that’s the granddaddy of identity events (the first was in 1993, I believe). It’s in San Diego this year, from July 27 – 31. Register here.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

Dave Kearns is a consultant and editor of IdM, the Journal of Identity Management.

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