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Liberty Alliance Project Completes Federated Network Identity Architecture
Liberty Alliance Project Completes Federated Network Identity Architecture

(March 17, 2003) - The Liberty Alliance, a consortium formed to develop open standards for federated network identity, has released details outlining the Liberty Alliance Federated Network Identity Architecture, a complete infrastructure that the Alliance expects will resolve many of the technology issues currently hindering deployment of identity-based Web services.

This new identity architecture outlines the direction the Liberty Alliance will follow to accomplish its vision of enabling a networked world in which individuals and businesses can more easily interact with one another while respecting the privacy and security of shared identity information.

The architecture and features of current and upcoming Liberty specifications are detailed in the white paper titled "Introduction to the Liberty Alliance Identity Architecture", now available at

"Federated network identity is more than just simplified sign-on," said Michael Barrett, president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board and vice president of Internet Technology Strategy at American Express. "Establishing and sharing your identity is critical to any kind of reciprocal relationship. Just as you wouldn't typically begin a business relationship in the real world without an introduction, you wouldn't enter a business relationship in the online world without establishing and proving your identity."

"Phase 1 of the Liberty architecture addressed the basic issues of federation and simplified sign-on," continued Barrett. "In Phase 2 and beyond we address the dynamics of the ongoing relationship that organizations have with their employees, partners, customers and citizens."

The complete Liberty Alliance federated network identity architecture provides an open, standards-based foundation for building and supporting identity-based Web services. The architecture enables companies to increase the security of their information systems, lower infrastructure maintenance costs, and more easily adapt to new business models and new technology. Consumers and employees will also benefit by having more choice and convenience in how they share and manage personal information over the Web.

Phase 2 of the Liberty Alliance specifications, which are expected in mid-2003, will enhance Liberty's Identity Federation Framework and introduce the Liberty Alliance's Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF). This Web Services Framework outlines the technical components necessary to build interoperable identity-based Web services that meet specific business needs and also protect the privacy and security of users' shared information. Phase 2 also includes the introduction of Liberty Alliance Identity Services Interface Specifications (ID-SIS), a collection of specifications built on the Liberty Identity Web Services Framework. These specifications will provide a standard way for companies to build interoperable services like registration profiles, contact books, or calendar, geo-location or alert services. The first service interface specification to be introduced is the ID-Personal Profile, which will define a basic profile template that can be used to build a registration service.

The Liberty Alliance is not a service-provider, so these specifications will offer a method to standardize the interface for exchanging data between different systems, not to standardize the service itself.

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SOA World Magazine News Desk trawls the world of distributed computing and SOA-related developments for the latest word on technologies, standards, products, and services and brings key information to you in a timely and convenient summary form.

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