The two-pronged attack to push Information Cards

* New group formed to advance interoperability for Information Cards

Back in July I told you about the formation of the Information Card Foundation (see "The call for a new identity standard"). In announcing the new group, Executive Director Charles Andres was quick to point out that it would NOT be a standards body, and would not produce specifications. Rather, the organization was intended to advance the use of the Information Card metaphor. Let's consider that the first shoe dropping, shall we? The second dropped last week.

Many of the same organizations that signed up to promote the InfoCard metaphor with the ICF have now formed a group to advance interoperability for Information Cards. So there’s now a two-pronged attack: one group to push acceptance of the metaphor and a second to hammer out the details so that the technical parts of the various InfoCard specifications work together.

This new group is an OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) technical committee called The OASIS Identity Metasystem Interoperability (IMI) Technical Committee. The new group will be co-chaired by IBM’s Anthony Nadalin and Microsoft’s Marc Goodner. Its stated purpose is to increase the quality and number of interoperable implementations of Information Cards and associated identity system components to enable the Identity Metasystem. There’s much more and, if you’re interested, you can read the group’s charter.

Founders of the OASIS committee are Novell and CA, in addition to Microsoft and IBM. Novell and Microsoft are also members of ICF (along with many others).

There’s a third group involved here, also, called OSIS (Open Source Identity Systems) which sponsors interoperability events (InterOps), usually in conjunction with trade shows (the latest was at last month’s Digital ID World) with the goal of testing the interoperability of both OpenID and Information Card software solutions and helping implementers improve their implementations.

There is some overlap here, but not a lot. Each of the three groups has carved out a particular niche and has said all the nice words about co-operating. Given the large membership overlap, that really shouldn’t be a problem. All we need now are results.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.