At the Catalyst conference in 2001, provisioning rivals Business Layers and Access360 sat on different sides of the conference meeting room (the ballroom of the Marriott hotel in San Diego) and hurled catcalls and invective at each other. A year later, they'd matured, as had the technology, and - under the auspices of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) joined to help form the Provisioning Services Technical Committee. A year after that, in 2003, the committee demonstrated the first release of the Provisioning Services Markup Language, soon changed to the Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML), in action.We saw that XML messages containing provisioning data could be exchanged between and among different provisioning engines. Joy ensued. Followed by ennui. Nobody did very much with SPML, but it was, after all, just a 1.0 release - and no one can do much with a 1.0 release.Just as I was beginning to think that SPML might be merely an asterisk in the history of identity management, the wonderful folks at OASIS, on behalf of the Provisioning Services Technical Committee (it never did change ITS name!) released Version 2 of SPML into the wild.If you visit the committee's Web pages as I did last week, don't be surprised if the big news on the front page is the release of Version 1 back in 2003. Evidently Version 2 was developed and released in stealth mode!Since the TC's Web pages appear to be not very well organized at the moment, you can find the relevant Version 2 documents with these URLs:* OASIS SPML V2.0HTMLWordPDF* OASIS SPML V2.0 - DSML V2.0 ProfileHTMLWordPDF* OASIS SPML V2.0 - XSD ProfileHTMLWordPDF* XSD FilesThis is an important release. Following the guidelines in SPML 2 should bring about true automated provisioning between and among disparate organizations as easily as we can implement it within any single organization. That doesn't make it simple, but it does make it possible. Study, and learn.