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

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

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.

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