RealTime IT News

Oracle Dual Buy Plugs ID Holes

UPDATED: Oracle made a bid to make its identity management portfolio the strongest of its rivals CA and IBM, acquiring privately held specialists Thor Technologies and OctetString for an undisclosed sum.

U.K.-based Thor specializes in ID provisioning across different platforms, while OctetString is a top provider of virtual directory software.

The software from both companies will help Oracle fill holes in its identity management platform, which includes a mix of purchased or homegrown software for access control, identity administration, identity federation, user provisioning, directory services and Web services management.

Hasan Rizvi, vice president of identity management at Oracle, said Oracle inked the deals because compliance requirements are dictating increased investments in identity management.

"Our customers are struggling to put the systems in place to comply with them," Rizvi said on a conference call.

He said customers want tighter controls on identity data, which means the ability to manage user privileges and access to systems in an IT environment.

Basically, Oracle customers want to deploy solutions that allow partners, business networks and customers to access their systems without giving up the keys to the kingdom.

The user provisioning and de-provisioning aspects are key requirements, which is where Thor's Xellerate technology fits in.

Xellerate, which will be renamed Oracle Xellerate Identity Provisioning, will let customers manage user-access rights and privileges across diverse platforms, systems, applications and physical assets.

By making it possible for enterprises to remove access rights for employees who are fired or who quit, Xellerate will boost security and regulatory compliance at a time when both come at a premium, Rizvi said.

As a complement to provisioning, Oracle OctetString will allow companies to connect applications to multiple user identities within a business. OctetString provides multi-directory consolidation, password integration across directories and directory proxy capabilities.

The virtual directory software, which will be rechristened Oracle Virtual Directory, will also add "hot-pluggable" capabilities for Oracle applications so they may run with existing databases and directories.

Oracle Xellerate Identity Provisioning and Oracle Virtual Directory will be available from Oracle by the end of the year.

Oracle's ID management platform is the security backbone for Oracle Fusion Middleware, the company's broad, deep application infrastructure line for providing viable service-oriented architectures (SOA) . This platform hit sales of more than $800 million in the last year.

Identity management is a huge deal for companies that want to provide complete, secure SOAs.

Earlier this year, Oracle beefed up its ID management platform by buying Oblix, a provider of single sign-on utilities for Web services.

Oracle rivals IBM, HP, CA and BMC have all made major buys or offered new products in the space in the last few years.

Earlier this week, CA re-branded and began offering Identity Manager based on assets from its Netegrity acquisition.

IBM today announced it has acquired Collation, which makes software that automatically captures information about servers, applications and databases and displays it on a detailed map.

Enterprise management software in general is a busy, highly competitive market with frequent mergers and acquisitions. Gartner forecasts this market will top $7.4 billion in 2008.