RealTime IT News

Sun to Open Source Web Single Sign-on

Sun Microsystems is freeing up code from its Java System Access Manager software to let programmers create single sign-on over the Internet.

The project, Open Web Single Sign-On (OpenSSO) project, will include source code for authentication and single domain SSO. Sun will include software hooks to connect the Web site authentication and SSO technologies with the Sun Java System Web Server and Sun Java System Application Server.

Single sign-on is a crucial component of identity management because it allows users to sign on to a Web site once and access several other sites in a completely secure fashion. Such technology will be a key driver for Web services and other forms of distributed computing.

The Java development community is the target audience, said Eric Leach, product management director at Sun.

Sun will put the code on the Java.net developer site to build up resources and community support for Java innovation based on Sun's software, The source code will be available under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) in spring 2006.

To support this effort, Sun will launch the OpenSSO community Web site, which will offer developers project roadmaps, documentation, tutorials and sample code.

Leach said Sun feels ID management was a logical place to open source code with the demand for interoperable single sign-on technology rising.

"The idea is that we're going to give developers the tools they need to build basic security into their internal Web infrastructures without additional cost," Leach said, adding that the play will allow Sun to focus more on its ID federation and auditing software announced last month.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company's move is consistent with another trend in the software space.

Software vendors such as Sun and BEA Systems have been freeing up some of their proprietary code to make nice with developers in the hope that they will ultimately pick and stick with their platforms. BEA, for example, donated its Beehive and Pollinate development projects to the Apache group.

Earlier this year, Sun freed up code from its Solaris operating system, and then forked over code for Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0 and the Java System Enterprise Server Bus (ESB) at JavaOne.

Sun plans to announce the development at the Burton Catalyst show Wednesday in San Diego, Calif., where the Afocus will be on promoting interoperable identity services as the wave of the future.

ID management is about more than deploying Web services, though that is a key driver. The niche is important to help corporations meet compliance regulations imposed by the government in the wake of accounting scandals.

In related news, HP said it has enhanced its OpenView identity management software, adding better compliance, automation and reporting capabilities. The suite now boasts common user interfaces (UI) and installations, with integration of common audit and reporting infrastructure in the works, said Sai Allavarpu, product manager of HP's management software business.

In one upgrade, OpenView Select Federation 6.5 now enables users to set privacy controls on a per-attribute basis, sharing subsets of their profiles with different service providers. Support for auditing and reporting and schemas like SAML 2.0, 1.1, 1.0 and the Liberty Alliance Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF) 1.1 are also in the mix.

Separately, security software maker Entrust and ID management specialist Trustgenix inked a deal to establish stronger security for federated digital identities. Entrust has integrated its IdentityGuard applications with Trustgenix' IdentityBridge software to merge authentication with federated ID management.