If you're planning on going to the Catalyst conference in San Francisco in July, you really need to register this week in order to save between $285 and $345 (depending on whether or not you are a Burton Group client).Catalyst is certainly the oldest conference dealing with identity services (the first took place in 1993) and is arguably still the best venue for learning about current identity strategies as well as related security services. In recent years there's been another track, dealing with network and telecomm strategies, but that's a topic for someone else's newsletter. What you need to know is that all of the major players in the identity field will be present at Catalyst and most will be making presentations.Last year's meeting featured the first interoperability demonstration of the Security Assertion Markup Language by the members of OASIS' Security Services Technical Committee, as well as the unveiling of the Liberty Alliance specification based in large part on SAML.The previous year saw the actual formation of an OASIS Technical Committee (Provisioning Services), which was borne out of a public exchange of ideas among various provisioning product vendors. ("Exchange of ideas" might have been called "shouting match" except an agreement came out of it!).It was three years ago at Catalyst when I was buttonholed by Metamerge CEO Michael Knagenhjelm, who earnestly (but humorously) explained why his concept of a virtual directory was similar to, but better than that espoused by Radiant Logic CEO Michel Prompt (whom I first met at Catalyst four years ago).The point I'm trying to make is that many of the things we take for granted today in the field of identity management first surfaced at Catalyst. If you want to not only be among the first to hear about what's new and exciting but also hear it from the people involved and get all your questions answered by the real experts then it behooves you to be in San Francisco in July (or Barcelona in October).The theme for this year's conference is "Enterprise Identity Management: Creating a Secure Business Context", which certainly fits in with our discussions in this newsletter recently. Each of the three days will have its own subtheme which currently (this could change) are:* Managing the Identity Life Cycle: Provisioning and Process.* Putting Identity to Work: Roles and Federation.* Platforms and Integration: Building Secure Web Services.There's very little fat, very little marketing hype in a Catalyst presentation (there's always some, of course) especially for readers of this newsletter. I expect I'll see a lot of you there. But if you want to save a few bucks (put them towards sampling the great food available in San Francisco), you need to visit https:\/\/www.burtongroup.com\/catalyst\/ and register now.