The leaders of two open source projects next week plan to showcase how they are using their services to integrate common identity platforms and provide developers with hooks to link their applications to those platforms.
The nearly year-old Higgins project, founded by IBM, Novell, a group of academics, and the Bandit project (started by Novell in mid-2006), plan to use next week's RSA conference to show a reference application that uses open source identity services to tie together Microsoft's CardSpace user identity system in Vista, and Liberty Alliance-based identity federation technology in Novell's Access Manager.
The goal is to provide corporate users and others with a common way for disparate identity platforms, protocols and services to integrate with each over both public and private networks. In addition, the open source advocates hope to provide developers with tools to easily tie their applications with corporate identity management systems.
"By working with a number of open source products and components, we are going to show that we can tie together a Liberty product with Microsoft CardSpace," says Dale Olds, a distinguished engineer with Novell. "You have these large identity systems with Liberty and CardSpace, but it is Higgins and other open source projects such as Bandit that are working to provide the glue. This reference application is very significant in that it shows the initial touch points."
Higgins is a framework designed to integrate identity, profile and relationship data from across multiple systems. The framework has interface and middleware components, such as the Identity Attribute Service, that act as a layer on top of identity repositories. The framework includes both code and an application programming interface (API) that developers will use to link their applications into the Higgins identity services. The goal is to support applications whose front-ends can be a browser, rich client or Web services-based.