New test results for SAML Profile For eGovernment

The success of the Identity Metasystem depends heavily on having products available from multiple vendors that are proven to interoperate and ready to deploy.  Kantara Initiative and Liberty Alliance have contributed significantly to this by helping test products against specific profiles.  Kudos to everyone involved with the definition, organization and testing of the eGovernment SAML 2.0 profile v1.5.  This represents a real step forward given the diversity of products involved.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30  – Kantara Initiative and Liberty Alliance today announced that identity products from Entrust, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Ping Identity, SAP and Siemens have passed Liberty Interoperable(TM) SAML 2.0 interoperability testing. These vendors participated in the third Liberty Interoperable full-matrix testing event to be administered by the Drummond Group Inc., and the first event to test products against the new eGovernment SAML 2.0 profile v1.5 recently released by Liberty Alliance. Web-based full-matrix testing allows vendors to participate from anywhere in the world and features rigorous processes for ensuring products meet SAML 2.0 interoperability requirements for open, secure and privacy-respecting federated identity management.

“The summer 2009 full-matrix testing event included more vendors than ever before, reflecting the worldwide demand among enterprises and governments for SAML 2.0 identity-enabled solutions that have proven to interoperate,” said Roger Sullivan, president of the Kantara Initiative Board of Trustees, president of Liberty Alliance and vice president, Oracle Identity Management. “Organizations can count on Liberty Interoperable for products that have proven to meet interoperability requirements today and over the long-term as the program moves to expand within Kantara Initiative to test against additional identity standards and protocols.”

This year's program featured enhanced SAML 2.0 testing scenarios between Service Provider (SP) and Identity Provider (IdP). The eGovernment SAML 2.0 profile and its requisite test plan have been developed by Liberty Alliance with input from the Danish, New Zealand and US governments. Testing processes for the eGovernment profile included multiple SP logout scenarios, requested authentication context comparisons, and other aspects of SAML 2.0 necessary to meet interoperability, privacy, security and transparency requirements in the global eGovernment sector. A review of the SAML 2.0 v1.5 eGovernment profile is available here.

“SAML 2.0 is the most popular federation protocol in the industry and utilized by commercial, educational, and government institutions around the globe,” said Gerry Gebel, VP and service director at Burton Group. “Federated single sign-on demand is growing, spurred by broad adoption of SaaS applications and the general increase in collaboration among business partners in every industry. The Liberty Interoperable program is instrumental to sustaining successful deployments in advanced federation scenarios where multiple products are in use.”

During the July 14 – September 4, 2009 testing event, the following products demonstrated interoperability based on a variety of SAML 2.0 conformance modes. A detailed list outlining what each vendor passed is available at http://tinyurl.com/yahs2u8

Entrust – Entrust IdentityGuard Federation Module 9.2 is a part of Entrust's versatile authentication platform, supporting numerous authentication methods in one cost-effective solution. Organizations are empowered to choose the right authentication method(s) for their users accessing enterprise, consumer, government or mobile applications. Entrust IdentityGuard includes support for username & password, IP-geolocation, device-ID, questions and answers, out-of-band OTP soft tokens (via voice, SMS, e-mail), grid and eGrid cards, digital certificates and a range of hardware OTP tokens. Entrust IdentityGuard enables rapid deployment, centralized policy management, and an easy integration into the enterprise. Entrust IdentityGuard also includes the ability to apply transaction digital signatures for increased confidence in online transactions. Entrust IdentityGuard serves as a certified SAML 2.0 identity provider, providing standards-based interoperability to organizations. Combined with Entrust's zero-touch fraud detection solution, Entrust IdentityGuard provides a powerful risk-based solution for authenticating users.

Entrust – Entrust GetAccess 8.0 delivers a single entry and access point for user authentication and authorization across multiple Web portal applications. The solution delivers full service provider (SP) capabilities and provides organizations with security, flexibility and performance to personalize the user experience of a Web portal through the following key services: flexible authentication, including seamless integration with Entrust IdentityGuard for step-up authentication; proven authentication interoperability via standards such as SAML, Kerberos, X.509 and others; SSO to Web and non-Web applications via SAML; authorization including fine-grained access control to online resources; rich policy management capabilities, allowing controlled access based on environmental considerations (e.g. authentication method used, physical location, TOD, external data sources); centralized session management; personalization of content; integration with leading application and portal vendors; web-based tools for business administration and operational control.

IBM – IBM Tivoli® Federated Identity Manager (TFIM) 6.2 provides a full featured web access management solution for managing identity and access to resources that span companies or security domains. Rather than replicate identity and security administration across companies, Tivoli Federated Identity Manager provides a simple, loosely coupled model for managing trusted identities and providing them with access to information and services including SaaS and cloud-based deployments. For companies deploying Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web Services, TFIM provides a centralized identity mediation services for federated Web services identity management across multiple domains (e.g. Java, .NET and mainframe). TFIM supports the following standards: SAML Protocol 1.0/1.1/2.0, OpenID Authentication 1.1/2.0 – OpenID Simple Registration Extension 1.0, Information Card Profile, WS-Federation Passive Requestor Profile, Liberty ID-FF 1.1/1.2, WS-Trust 1.2/1.3.

Microsoft – Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 enables Active Directory to be an identity provider in the claims based access platform. AD FS provides end users with a single sign-on experience across applications, platforms and organizations and simplifies identity management for IT Pros. AD FS 2.0 is part of the Windows Server platform, and supports both on-premises and cloud solutions.

Novell – Novell Access Manager 3.1 simplifies and safeguards online asset-sharing, helping customers control access to Web-based and traditional business applications. Trusted users gain secure authentication and access to portals, Web-based content and enterprise applications, while IT administrators gain centralized policy-based management of authentication and access privileges. What's more, Novell Access Manager supports a broad range of platforms and directory services, and it's flexible enough to work in even the most complex multi-vendor computing environments. Novell Access Manager makes administration easy. You can use it to centralize access control for all digital resources, and it eliminates the need for multiple software tools at various locations. One access solution fits all applications and information assets. In addition, Novell Access Manager includes support for major federation standards including Security Assertions Markup Language (SAML), WS-Federation and Liberty Alliance.

Ping Identity – PingFederate v6.1 is an Internet Identity Security platform that delivers an enterprise-class, scalable, cost effective and standards-based software solution for enabling Internet Single Sign-On, Identity-Enabled Web Services and Internet User Account Management. PingFederate provides a centralized platform for managing all of your external identity connections with customers, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers, partners, affiliates and others. Your organization can have Internet SSO and Identity-Enabled Web Services connections in days with point and click connection configuration, out-of-the-box integration capabilities, multi-protocol support, and automated user account management. Over 350 enterprises and service providers worldwide base their Internet identity security strategy on PingFederate.

SAP – The next release of SAP NetWeaver Identity Management 7.2 is planned for the second quarter 2010. SAP plans to significantly enhance the product with an Identity Provider (IdP) and Secure Token Service (STS) to support web-based Single Sign-On via SAML 2.0 assertions, identity federation and Single Sign-On for web services. The existing features to centrally administrate and provision users — provided by the Identity Center and Virtual Directory Server components — will be extended and allow for integrated scenarios with the IdP. The new IdP and STS will add access management features to the SAP NetWeaver Identity Management and allow the solution to be integrated into an Enterprise Single Sign-On environment reducing TCO and administrative effort.

Siemens – DirX Access V8.1 is a comprehensive solution that integrates access management, entitlement management, identity federation, Web services security, and Web Single Sign-on in one single product to protect your web applications and web services from unauthorized use. DirX Access provides for the consistent enforcement of business security policies through external, centralized, policy-based authentication and authorization services, enhances Web user experience through local and federated single sign-on and supports regulatory compliance with audit and reporting both within and across security domains.

About the Liberty Interoperable Program

The ongoing success of the Liberty Interoperable program is demonstrated by the wide scale deployment of SAML 2.0 products and the increasing number of businesses and governments such as the US GSA, now requiring vendors to pass Liberty Alliance testing. With nearly seven years of testing products for true interoperability of identity specifications, Liberty Alliance expects to expand the Liberty Interoperable program within Kantara Initiative to reflect growing momentum for proven interoperable multi-protocol identity solutions. More information about the program, including a list of all vendors who have passed Liberty Alliance testing, is available here.

Enterprises and governments are going to be able to do important projects and derive tangible benefits very quickly using this cross-vendor family of products.   That's really important.  Of course, there's more to identity than browser-based federation…  But one of the most encouraging signs is that the same kind of progress we see in the Kantara announcement is being made with the user-centric and privacy-enhancing technologies that many of us are working on to complement the SAML technology.

 

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