Friday Jun 05, 2009

Intuitive Identity in a Highly-personalized, Hyper-connected World

A pervasive theme in the just-concluded JavaOne conference was the need for context-aware personalization of the user experience in a hyper-connected world.

For example, Ericsson's overview presentation advised, "it's about people" and "it's all about me, me, me."

"Our kids will grow up in connected world," observed Dan'l Lewin of Micrsosoft.  "... I need to connect to things that matter most from wherever I am."

At that heart of making this all happen is Identity - enabling highly personalized, time-and-space-sensitive answers to fundamental questions:
  • Who am I?
  • Where am I?
  • What "hat" am I currently wearing?
  • What  is top of mind to me right now?
  • With whom do I wish to connect?
  • What device am I using?
  • How do I want to participate in cyberspace - at this very moment?
However, as important as Identity is in answering these questions in a highly-personalized, hyper-connected experience, a user shouldn't have to think about Identity.  A person should be immersed in the personal experience, not distracted by whatever mechanisms provide secure, personalized access to the services and applications that deliver the experience.  Identity must be an integral, intuitive, unobtrusive part of the entire experience.  It must be so natural and easy to use that it fades into the background of any task. 

Identity is rightfully the focal point for the Identity Management professional community.  But one measure of our ultimate success will be how little users have to think about it.

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Thursday Jun 04, 2009

Identity Critical to Interoperability

Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development for Microsoft, was on the big stage at JavaOne this morning, delivering a keynote presentation focused on interoperability among disparate information system platforms.  Acknowledging the critical importance of Identity in enabling interoperability, Dan'l remarked, "Identity is Fundamental," and "Nothing is more important than Identity."   He further remarked, "we just assume that Identity will be federated" as we move to cloud computing.

I started this blog on May 13, 2005 - the day Scott McNealy and Steve Ballmer met in a press conference to announce commitment to interoperability between the Microsoft and Sun platforms.  In that maiden post, I stated:
"Identity Management is the key to enabling interoperability. It is the pivot about which the Microsoft/Sun relationship turns. Why - because Identity, by its very nature, transcends platforms. Regardless of which application or platform is being used, a user's basic identity doesn't change. So, in a naturally heterogenous world, an ability to rise above the differences between computer platforms is necessary if companies are to reach goals of efficiency and connectivity they require for business success."

It is heartening to hear Dan'l give essentially the same message today, and to see the progress that has been made in the past four years. 

It was also encouraging to hear both Dan'l and Aisling MacRunnels, Sun VP, Application Platform Software Marketing, re-state their respective committment to fostering interoperability between the Java and .Net computing platforms.  Aisling announced that Sun had strengthened its commitment to interoperability efforts by agreeing to participate in the Stonehenge project and contribute the Metro-based StockTrader application code to that project.

What do you think the next four years will bring?

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Thursday Jan 10, 2008

JavaOne Registration is Open!

Where will you be during the first week of May? Come join the Java Community for the 13th annual JavaOne conference, at The Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Registration is now open!

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Discovering Identity was founded on in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

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The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle Corporation, or any other person or organization.


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