Managing Identities - InformationWeek
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7/11/2003
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Managing Identities

Specs could help ID-management apps better control user-access rights

Ask IT pros knee-deep in an identity-management rollout and they'll tell you building connectors so user access-rights information can be shared among all applications is one of the most daunting parts of the job. That chore may get easier if a new specification takes hold. The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards' Service Provisioning Markup Language version 1.0 was given its first public run last week. ID-management vendors, including BMC Software, Entrust, OpenNetwork, Sun Microsystems, and Thor Technologies, showcased SPML interoperability with their software.

Development of standards such as SPML is critical if identity-management apps are to live up to their promise of easier management of user-access rights, says Pete Lindstrom, director of research at Spire Security.

Also last week, Microsoft and IBM embraced federated, or decentralized, ID management by unveiling their WS-Federation spec, which the companies say will let customers exchange identity information with partners and suppliers.

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