Wednesday Jul 15, 2009

OpenSSO Enterprise: Fedlet for .NET

My wife looked up incredulously from her desk as the music started. "That is a bit out of character for you, isn't it?" she asked.

Well, it was just the soundtrack to the latest outlandish creation of Sun's product manager extraordinaire, the "Smoking Monkey" himself, Daniel Raskin. A clever video to introduce the newly released "Fedlet for .NET."



You can access the new Fedlet by downloading OpenSSO Enterprise Update 1.

Then, in words of those famous founts of curmudgeonly wisdom, Statler and Waldorf, "Play it again!"

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Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

Kantara Initiative - Fostering Interoperable Identity-Enabled Solutions

Today market the official launch of the Kantara Initiative, "a new organization formed to solve the harmonization and interoperability challenges that currently exist among identity-enabled enterprise, Web 2.0 and Web-based applications and services. Kantara Initiative has been founded to collaboratively foster the innovation required for broad adoption of interoperable identity-enabled solutions across industries, regions and fixed and mobile networks."

Roger Sullivan, vice president Oracle Identity Management, has been elected president of the 2009 Kantara Initiative Board of Trustees.  Sun Microsystems is an initial member of the Board of Trustees.

I look forward to participating in this initiative as it moves forward.

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Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

Sun Microsystems - Powering the National Health Information Network reported yesterday that "Sun Microsystems is partnering with the US Federal Government to create a secure technology platform to connect federal health agencies and private institutions to the National Health Information network:"
"Sun open-source software, including GlassFish and Java technologies, will be the backbone of a national network designed to offer a secure technology platform so public and private health agencies can exchange electronic medical records and other information over the Internet."
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) annnounced:
"The Federal Health Architecture is making software available as a first step to help public and private health information technology systems communicate to the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), a federal initiative to facilitate the electronic exchange of health information.  The Federal Health Architecture, an E-Gov initiative led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), is making this free software, called CONNECT, and supporting documentation available at"
Having health records on line holds the promise of higher quality, less expensive health care for consumers because critical information is more accessible more timely and more accurate than with traditional paper-based methods. As both a consumer of healthcare and as a taxpayer, it is good to see this important initiative moving forward. It's also great to see Sun at the forefront of providing key technology to make it happen.

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Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

In the Clouds at Community One

At today's CommunityOne conference held today in New York City, Sun announced the Sun Open Cloud Platform, a cloud computing infrastructure, powered by Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage.

"Sun's approach to cloud computing blends our expertise in developing open source software and communities with unique design innovation. Sun's Open Cloud platform is the first step in delivering on our vision of a world that has many clouds that are both open and interoperable," said Dave Douglas, Senior Vice President, Cloud Computing, Sun Microsystems. "Our cloud architecture empowers developers with the expanded interoperability and freedom of choice they need to easily take advantage of the agility, efficiency and cost benefits of cloud computing."

We Sun employees have been invited to try our the Storage as as Service offering.  I'll check it out soon and report on this blog.

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Thursday Mar 05, 2009

Extreme Leverage vs. Common Sense

By any measure, our economy is facing enormous challenges.  My good friend Bala Subramanian sent me a link to an extremely sobering piece from The Market Oracle comparing the current economic meltdown with the last two decades of economic turmoil in Japan.  We're in for a rough ride.

I am no economist, but is seems to my simple mind that our current woes are linked to one major fact - that too much of the economy has been built on extreme leverage and personal greed, with too little emphasis on real production and common sense.  Now, the highly leveraged financial system is tumbling down like the house of cards that it really is.

Against that backdrop, may I offer a couple of illustrations:

Yesterday, the mighty Citigroup ($C) became a penny stock - trading under a dollar per share and closing at $1.03.  So, Sun Microsystems' ($JAVA) beleagured per-share stock price is four times that of Citigroup! Little old Sun's market cap is $3.4 billion.  Mighty Citigroup? Only $6 billion. 

Will Citigroup survive? Will it be nationalized? If it falls, what other domino disasters will follow in its wake? Only time will tell.

To be sure, these two companies are like apples and oranges, but I think this illustrates an important point.  Sun's worth and potential is based on innovation and real production. Citigroup, on the other hand, was built on extreme leverage and personal greed. Far too much risky debt.  Complicated derivatives that masked underlying weakness.  Growth at the expense of common sense.  Now the cards tumble.

Perhaps the smartest financial thing I ever did during the dot com bubble was to cash out technology stocks in my IRA and pay off my house.  People told me I was absolutely crazy then.  But now?  Perhaps high leverage is not all it was cracked up to be.

Yes, we have big challenges at Sun.  All is not rosy here.  But I invite you to listen to the insightful video blog Jonathan Schwartz shared this week:  Understanding Sun in Three Easy Steps.  Think about Sun's conservative financial management style that consistently generates positive cash flow. Think of $3 billion in cash on hand.  Think of Sun's enormous investment in R&D even in the face of extreme financial pressure.

I'd rather be at Sun than Citigroup right now.  Reminds me of paying off my house.

One other point ... is it any cooincidence that GM and Chrysler teeter on the brink of bankruptcy with their hands held out to Uncle Sam while Consumer Reports rates those two automakers dead last in its annual Automaker Report Card

Food for thought.

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Wednesday Feb 25, 2009

HP Memories

Today, Sun and Hewlett Packard announced an agreement for HP to distribute and support Sun's Solaris 10 operating system on HP ProLiant server and blade platforms.  Jonathan Schwartz called it "the single biggest and most important OEM/distribution agreement Sun's ever signed for the open source Solaris operating system."

I first became involved with Hewlett Packard in 1977, when I took a computer architecture class in college and did an in-depth analysis of the HP1000 computer architecture for a class project. When I graduated from BYU in 1978, HP offered me digital design position in the desktop computer division in Fort Collins, Colorado.  I turned them down, in favor of staying with little Eyring Research Institute, in Provo, Utah, where I had been working for a year. In 1979, I led a project for Eyring that installed the first network of HP1000 computers at 3M company, in a magnetic tape manufacturing facility in Hutchinson, Minnesota.  That all goes to show how ancient I am and what amazing progress has been made by HP and the rest of the computer industry since then.

Now, these many years later, it is a pleasure to be at Sun and see a new partnership being forged by these two key industry players.

Congratulations to Sun and HP for linking up on this milestone relationship!

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Wednesday Jan 28, 2009

OpenSSO Community Day

Yesterday, Sun announced a "community day for OpenSSO enthusiasts around the time of the CommunityOne Conference in New York.
All are welcome, attendance is free, and continental breakfast plus lunch will be provided. ... Hosted by New York University at the Kimmel Center in Greenwich Village, New York, and sponsored by Sun Microsystems, this is an opportunity for OpenSSO contributors, deployers and users to come together in an informal unconference setting."

For more information or to sign up, please visit the OpenSSO Community Day page on

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Tuesday Dec 09, 2008

$3 Billion Companies: Sun and GM

The online Wall Street Journal showed these interesting statistics this morning:

Market Cap
Cash from Operating Activities
(Last Quarter)

Sun Microsystems$2.8 billion
$148 million
General Motors
$3.0 billion
($9,661 million)

Here at Sun, we are often tempted to see the proverbial glass half-empty and draining fast. 

However, being part of a business that generates positive cash flow in a quarter when the financial markets collapse and the king of the automotive industry hemorrhages $10 billion in cash isn't so bad.

Plus, it's nice to know Jonathan isn't in front of Congress with tin cup in hand.

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Wednesday Nov 12, 2008

Integrated Identity Infrastructure

This morning, my Sun Microsystems colleague Rakesh Radhakrishnan published a blog post that proposed an "Integrated Identity Infrastructure acting as the Common Service Building Block" that provides foundation Identity services for multiple areas in the communications and media markets, including the flowing use case areas:
I am intrigued with this concept of an Integrated Identity Infrastructure enabling a wide ranging set of business and consumer functions.  I look forward to more good discussion in this area.

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Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

OpenSSO Enterprise - Download it Now

Today is the official release date of Sun's OpenSSO Enterprise product, the 8.0 version of the product set formerly known as the "Access Manager/Federation Manager", which was publicly announced on September 30th.


So, what's new in this release?
  • The Fedlet - a lightweight way for service providers to quickly federate with a SAML 2.0 identity provider
  • Multi-Protocol Hub - allows companies that are members of a circle of trust to speak different federation protocols
  • Identity Services - invoke AAA services using your IDE of choice or any programming language (e.g. Java, .NET, PHP, Ruby, etc.)
  • Express Builds - deploy next-generation features from the OpenSSO community with the same support and indemnification provided with commercial releases
  • Ease of Use - new task-based UI for common federation-related operations
  • Ease of Install - just drop the WAR file into your servlet-container of choice, hit it with a browser and, in the simplest case, supply admin passwords
  • Much more, including: centralized server configuration (no more text file), centralized agent configuration (no more text files).
Give it a whirl - download it here today!

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Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

Innovation on the Beach

This week, I have the honor of speaking at the Sun Microsystems "Innovation at Sun" conference, held at the beautiful Seascape Beach Resort on Monterey Bay on the outskirts of Aptos, California.  It is a beautiful day here on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

The view out my hotel room window is spectacular!

Looking west from hotel room at the Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos, CA.

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Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

OpenSSO Enterprise

Yesterday, September 30, 2008, Sun Microsystems officially unveiled OpenSSO Enterprise, Sun's "Next-Generation Access Management, Federation and Secure Web Services Solution."

Over three years ago, way back on July 13, 2005, just two months after I wrote my first post on this blog, Sun announced at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference "plans to open source its web site authentication and web single sign-on (SSO) technologies through the Open Source Web Single Sign-On (OpenSSO) project."  I gave the announcement only one sentence of coverage: "Open SSO will provide source code for basic identity services including Authentication, Single-domain SSO, and Web and J2EE agents."

Yesterday's announcement was, in a way, a celebration of that early foray into the world of open source.  What began as a virtual toe-dip led to complete immersion in open source waters.  OpenSSO Enterprise is a result of putting Sun putting its entire access and federation management code base into the open source domain, providing a transparent and progressive forum for collaborative development.  The innovations apparent in this newly released product owe much to the many external contributors to the OpenSSO project.

It is exciting to see the fruits of Sun's open source strategy unfold.

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Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Sun Rising on the Vancouver Olympics

I have spent the last couple of days with my Sun colleagues in Canada.  Because of Sun's position as supplier to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Sun Canada business cards and presentation templates are Olympics-themed.  The back of each business card is shown below.

Go Canada!

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Thursday Sep 18, 2008

BearingPoint and the Marines

Washington Technology reported this week "BearingPoint to assist Marines with identity management". I confirmed today that BearingPoint is using the Sun Identity Management suite as the basis for this significant project. Congratulations to our friends from BearingPoint on this significant win!

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Tuesday Sep 09, 2008

Open Source Strategy is Working

Can Sun make money on Open Source software? Will the billion dollar bet on MySQL pay off? Tuesday's announcement was very encouraging.

On Tuesday, September 9, 2008, Sun announced that Belgian-based ERP software vendor Stésud adopted and deployed Sun's open source MySQL database and GlassFish application server software.

Benoit Lemaire, CEO of Stésud stated, "Java-based GlassFish was the first piece of the puzzle we identified to meet our stringent new infrastructure requirements. As soon as Sun acquired MySQL, we decided to employ it as our new database rather than Oracle. With Sun behind both GlassFish and MySQL, it was the best open source infrastructure combination for our needs and for our customers' operations."

Yes, it does appear that Sun's open source software strategy is working, particularly when multiple products are in play. This gives customers the benefit of open source innovation and open access at a significant cost advantage over the competition, while delivering very significant license and support services revenue to Sun. Win-win is a sustainable business model.

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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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