Liberty Alliance Embraces SAML 2.0

With the ink barely dry on the final Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 standard, officials at the Liberty Alliance are set to include the technology in its interoperability test bed Monday.

The Liberty Interoperable Logo Program certifies software developers to create products that interoperate with products from other vendors using a variety of specified profiles and schema.

Officials at OASIS blessed the single sign-on technology for use in the industry Thursday. It fills the gaps left by SAML 1.0, with improved metadata specifications to improve communications between companies using the technology within a federation, as well as new attribute profiles.

Roger Sullivan, Liberty Alliance conformance expert group chairman and Oracle vice president for identity management solutions, said the organization has been working on getting SAML 2.0 into the interoperability program for some months. He expects a lot of vendor and corporate interest for the technology immediately.

“New enterprise customers who are coming on board are saying, ‘rather than starting from scratch on [SAML] 1.2 I’m going to wait for SAML 2.0,'” he said. “SAML 2.0 took a little longer than people expected to get ratified, so there is a pent-up market demand for people who are seeking to deploy these systems.”

Several vendors have already included SAML 2.0 in their product lines or are in the process of rolling out a version in the near future, such as Oracle, Computer Associates and RSA Security .

Sullivan would not say which companies are going through the interoperability process, noting the identities of companies participating in the program are kept secret under non-disclosure agreements until several weeks after successful completion of the program.

In order to gain program approval, the product must work with at least two other vendor implementations. The logo is good only for the specific version of the product that undergoes the testing, not the entire product line.

According to officials, some 15 vendors and 30 products have already successfully participated in the program, the first in the industry to test and approve interoperability standards for federation, single sign-on and identity-based Web services.

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