Eric Leach, director of product management at Sun, said the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company will open-source the technology through the Open Source Web Single Sign-On, or OpenSSO project. That effort includes technology related to authentication, single domain, single sign-on, Web agents and J2EE agents, he said.
The identity management technology will be released under Sun's Common Developer and Distributed License (CDDL) program, under which Sun will help the developer community determine which innovations will continue to be developed, Leach said. Sun also will be responsible for testing the technology, he said.
Sun is the first big identity-management player to open-source a component of its technology, according to Leach. The move also means that Sun is changing the industry's approach to Web security, he added.
"This lets people start focusing on more important capabilities like single sign-on across partners, compliance across distributed partner networks, and looking at things like how to provision and manage identities," Leach said.
Sun unveiled the plan at the Burton Group's Catalyst Conference North America, being held this week in San Diego.