Microsoft Focuses on Interoperability for the Identity Metasystem

Leading an industrywide effort to develop increased identity assurances

online, Microsoft announces the development of several projects.

May 23, 2007, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., May 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. today
 announced a series of offerings that foster improved interoperability for
 online identity management. Microsoft has been a leading industry voice in
 the creation of an identity metasystem, an ecosystem designed to enable the
 exchange of personal identity information on the Internet so all parties
 may understand whom they are working with online. Three core elements make
 up the identity metasystem: the people who are presenting their identity,
 the Web site or online service requesting proof of identity, and the
 identity providers who assert some information about those people. The
 projects announced today improve interoperability for each of the three
 identity metasystem components and represent the next step in Microsoft's
 commitment to deliver interoperability by design.
     (Logo: )
     "Our customers expect us to enable interoperability between
 Microsoft-based solutions, as well as across other platforms and
 technologies. For this reason, we take a very pragmatic, customer-centric
 view of interoperability," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the
 Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Addressing the effective exchange
 of identity information is a perfect example of how we look at
 interoperability holistically in order to meet a critical customer need."
     Another Interop Specification Available Under Microsoft's OSP
     In September 2006 Microsoft announced the availability of 38 Web
 services specifications under the Open Specification Promise (OSP). A
 subset of those specifications, such as WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation,
 addressed identity metasystem scenarios and have led to interoperable
 identity solutions such as Novell Inc.'s Bandit project and the Eclipse
 Foundation's Higgins Trust Framework Project. Microsoft is now making the
 Identity Selector Interoperability Profile available under the OSP to
 enhance interoperability in the identity metasystem for client computers
 using any platform. An individual open source software developer or a
 commercial software developer can build its identity selector software and
 pay no licensing fees to Microsoft, nor will it need to worry about future
 patent concerns related to the covered specifications for that technology.
     Microsoft Creates Four Open Source Projects to Help Make Web Sites
     Microsoft is starting four open source projects that will help Web
 developers support information cards, the primary mechanism for
 representing user identities in the identity metasystem. These projects
 will implement software for specifying the Web site's security policy and
 accepting information cards in Java for Sun Java System Web Servers or
 Apache Tomcat or IBM's WebSphere Application Server, Ruby on Rails, and PHP
 for the Apache Web server. An additional project will implement a C Library
 that may be used generically for any Web site or service. These
 implementations will complement the existing ability to support information
 cards on the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) platform using the Microsoft Visual
 Studio(R) development environment.
     The projects will be hosted on the open source project sites and, and will be aggregated for ease
 of use for all developers to access at and
     Microsoft Extends Identity Management in the Enterprise
     Identity providers (e.g., insurance companies, government agencies,
 academic institutions, or any organization that holds identity information
 about people) typically have a rich set of identity information stored in
 directories or databases. Some Microsoft customers have asked for improved
 ability to synchronize identity information between Active Directory(R) and
 the OpenLDAP Directory utilizing Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM)
 2007. In response, Microsoft announces its collaboration on an open source
 project with KERNEL Networks and Oxford Computer Group to provide an
 OpenLDAP adapter for Microsoft ILM 2007. The adapter will extend ILM 2007's
 support for heterogeneous environments by enabling efficient two-way
 synchronization of identity information for OpenLDAP. This adds to ILM
 2007's already significant out-of-the-box connectivity to more than 30
 directories, databases and other systems. The benefit to Microsoft
 customers is a more extensible and flexible identity management solution.
     Interoperability by Design
     In the past 12 months, Microsoft has announced more than 15 technical
 and business activities, each furthering its commitment to deliver
 interoperability by design. The company takes a holistic approach to
 interoperability that encompasses products; communities of customers,
 partners, and competitors; access to intellectual property; and the support
 of standards. Examples of Microsoft's improvements to interoperability
 include the creation of an Open XML Translator for document format
 interoperability; collaboration with companies such as Novell and XenSource
 Inc. on virtualization of Linux and Windows; the creation of an
 Interoperability Vendor Alliance with more than 35 other companies; and a
 yearlong effort of working with the newly developed Interoperability
 Executive Customer Council. More information about Microsoft's
 interoperability by design efforts can be found at
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.
   Community Support for Microsoft's Interoperability Efforts in the Identity
     "The OSP continues to represent a significant step forward as the
 industry works to build more interoperable identity infrastructure. We've
 seen a number of advancements and collaborations in the last several months
 that are a direct result of the OSP process and expect this trend to
     -- Gerry Gebel
        Vice President and Service Director
        Burton Group
     "Microsoft's extension of its Open Specification Promise is a key
 milestone for the community developing software that interoperates with
 Windows CardSpace(TM). We appreciate all the effort that Microsoft has made
 and is making toward interoperability."
     -- Paul Trevithick and Mary Ruddy
        Co-Leads, Eclipse Higgins Project
        Eclipse Foundation
     "We are impressed with Microsoft's continuing efforts to support Web
 site developers, using Java and other languages, in implementing
 information card support and making this technology available across
 multiple platforms."
     -- Jens Fromm
        Fraunhofer-Institute FOKUS
     "I'm excited and encouraged to see that Microsoft is continuing to
 further the Open Specification Promise and include additional
 specifications in the information card area as this will go a long way to
 help ensure that open source communities can implement information card
 identity providers and relying parties."
     -- Anthony Nadalin
        Chief security architect,
        Higgins Project member
     "Microsoft's efforts to broaden the use of OSP, particularly with the
 ISIP, have enabled greater interoperability across platforms."
     -- Dale Olds
        Bandit project leader,
        Novell Distinguished Engineer
        Novell Inc.
     "ThoughtWorks is excited to be working with Microsoft on this open,
 cross-platform identity management initiative. In supporting open
 standards, Microsoft has opened the door for our customers to leverage
 Microsoft products with its current technology investments like Ruby and
     -- Roy Singham
        ThoughtWorks Inc.
     Microsoft, Windows, Visual Studio, Active Directory and Windows
 CardSpace are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. The names of
 actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of
 their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.