IBM aims federation at SMBs; Oracle opens ID governance framework

* Identity news from IBM, InMezzo, Oracle

I have overlooked some announcements in the past couple of weeks, so let’s get them in now before they get too stale.

IBM announced Tivoli Federated Identity Manager Business Gateway a couple of weeks ago. Now a new federation product isn’t big news, but the target market (and the vendor) is. IBM is aiming this squarely at the small and midsize business market. This is a lightweight, limited-function release of IBM’s Federated Identity Manager product. The company feels that by simplifying the necessary architecture, this new offering will allow faster, lower cost deployments of federated single sign-on. There’s a lot more, which you can find on the Web site.

I also wanted to mention the work that the U.K.’s InMezzo was doing with eGovernment, which seems far ahead of what’s available in North America. Among the offerings are an information sharing hub as well as a registration and authentication hub. Check it out, if only to see what the Brits are up to!

Finally, Oracle announced a new open initiative last week, the Identity Governance Framework. IGF is designed to help organizations better govern and protect sensitive identity-related employee, customer and partner information as it flows across heterogeneous applications. At the same time, CA, Novell, Ping Identity, Securent and Sun announced plans to work with Oracle to develop a full set of specifications. The IGF will provide a standard mechanism for organizations to establish “contracts” between their applications and sources of identity data. The four key components of IGF that vendors and customers can currently review include:

* Client Attribute Requirement Markup Language (CARML) – an XML-based declarative contract defined by application developers that informs deployment managers and service providers about the attribute usage requirements of an application.

* Attribute Authority Policy Markup Language (AAPML) – a set of policy rules regarding the use of identity-related information from an identity source that allow these sources to specify constraints on use of provided data by consuming applications.

* CARML API – an API that makes it easier for developers to write applications that consume and use identity-related data in a way that conforms to policies set around the use of such information.

* Identity Service – a policy-secured service for accessing identity-related data from multiple identity sources.

It seems Oracle really is staking out a leadership role in identity. Find out more online about this initiative which Oracle hopes to take to the W3C, OASIS or the Liberty Alliance to give it wider appeal.

That’s it for now, see you next week.

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