NetPro loyalists disgruntled over merger with Quest; Centrify releases DirectAuthorize

* News about the Quest/NetPro merger, SURFnet, Microsoft's Geneva, and a new role-based entitlements product from Centrify

This week is the Fall Internet Identity Workshop (IIW), the twice-yearly gathering of identity folk, primarily from the user-centric camp but with a large contingent from the enterprise world (especially the enterprise federation space). I'll have a lot to say about these sessions in the coming weeks, but for today I'd like to catch up on recent news about the Quest/NetPro merger, SURFnet, Microsoft's Geneva, and a new role-based entitlements product from Centrify.

After announcing the Quest/NetPro merger I got a few notes from the disgruntled claiming that, as loyal NetPro customers, their needs were being trampled as Quest re-organized the product menu. My friend Martin Kuppinger took this one on and noted that not only NetPro, but also Quest products, would be discontinued. That’s a fact of life in any merger. It isn’t a question of products being discontinued, but of how that occurs. Knowing all the people involved I expect it to be as smooth as possible.

Last month I told you about The Netherlands’ SURFnet and our discussion of ways to improve its identity federation product. Its forward thinking was brought home to me once again when it was announced that the current federation effort was recognized by eema, the Independent European e-Identity & Security Association, which awarded SURFnet and its consulting partner, Everett, the eema Award for Excellence in Secure Electronic Business. The award is in recognition of the SURF foundation project (i.e., the federation project) implemented in The Netherlands. Congratulations to a great team!

To me, the biggest news lately has been the announcement of Microsoft’s Geneva server, the next version of CardSpace. While I pointed this out a couple of weeks ago, I really didn’t provide a lot of pointers for more details. The best source is the CardSpace/Geneva team’s own blog site but there are plenty of others talking about it also. Microsoft Director of Identity Partnerships Mike Jones has a “self issued” site that's also a great place for information and pointers to more. There’s also some good links in the blog post I wrote about Geneva.

Finally, I had the opportunity to meet recently with Centrify CEO Tom Kemp and Tom Cromelin, director of marketing, to talk about DirectAuthorize. The new product centrally manages and enforces role-based entitlements for fine grained control of user access and privileges on Unix and Linux systems. If your organization has a mix of operating systems you need a product like this. And the “jungle drums” (Tom – Tom, get it? OK, you can groan now) assure me that this is the only product “like this”. Details at the DirectAuthorize site for those who are interested.

That’s all for now, but there’ll be more next week.

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