By dr156914 on Oct 09, 2009
Links for the day . . .
Links for the day . . .
I just finished editing a video on how to federate to Salesforce CRM using OpenSSO in under 5 minutes. It was a lot of fun to make. Like our Google Apps Starter Kit, we'll be launching a Salesforce Starter Kit shortly that walks you through a step-by-step guide on how to do this as well. Basic jist is this solution allows you to reduce sign-ons for your employees and allows them to access Salesforce services using their enterprise credentials rather than their Salesforce credentials. Enjoy!
I wanted to update you on the news last week about Pat Patterson (aka SuperPat) moving on from Sun and our search for a new community lead.
As you all now know, Pat has moved on from Sun and thus has stepped down as the OpenSSO community lead. I want to wish Pat the best of luck in his future endeavors. He is not only an icon among the OpenSSO world, but he is also a great friend. I jokingly told Pat on his last day that he is "now dead to me," but the truth is I will miss him dearly and look forward to pestering him lots in the future.
That said, I am very happy to announce that our new OpenSSO community lead is Hubert Le Van Gong. Hubert has a long history with OpenSSO. He is an identity architect at Sun with strong expertise in IdM protocols as well as RESTful web services. He started working with OpenSSO in the context of interoperability with the Microsoft-backed web services stack. True to Sun's tradition of eating its own dog food, he then helped deploy OpenSSO and its OpenID extension as an Identity Provider for Sun employees. More recently Hubert has been working on new OpenSSO extensions like OAuth and OpenID 2.0. Check out Hubert's blog to read about OpenSSO community activity and feel free to ping him via IRC. His IRC handle is hubertlvg.
In addition to Hubert, you can always contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jamie Nelson, the Director of OpenSSO Engineering, at email@example.com. We are also on IRC and our handles are draskin and jamiefnelson, respectively.
Please join me in welcoming Hubert to his new role and start pinging away with questions!
Have you heard colleagues talking about OAuth, but don't understand how it can be used in the real world? Are you looking for lightweight solutions to federate with Java and .NET apps? Would you like to offer multi-factor authentication without having to purchase token hardware for all your employees?
Watch this FREE webinar and learn how Sun Microsystems, Inc. is innovating in these areas and many more to provide simple, pragmatic solutions in a single product. You'll learn how the latest release of OpenSSO can help you secure all your core resources with a single product regardless of whether your resources are internal, external or in the cloud.
If you have a spare hour tomorrow (Wednesday August 18th 2009) morning, join me as I will be presenting a webinar titled OpenSSO Express for Improved SSO. The webinar is at 10am PDT/1pm EDT/7pm CET for an update on the very latest features in OpenSSO Express 8 and beyond, such as mobile one-time passwords, the Fedlet for .Net, and SalesForce.com integration. We will also be previewing our OAuth Token Service.
OpenSSO is now part of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) CONNECT Architecture. CONNECT implements a flexible, open-source gateway solution that enables healthcare entities – Federal agencies or private-sector health organizations or networks – to connect their existing health information systems to the NHIN.
As part of CONNECT, OpenSSO acts as the:
1) Authentication Service for citizen registration
2) Policy Enforcement Point
3) and one of two choices for a pluggable Policy Decision Point
Read about OpenSSO and the CONNECT Reference Architecture here!
Building on the now classic "Fedlet for Java / Guns N' Roses Video," we now have a video for the newly released Fedlet for .NET. BTW, thanks to Giuseppe Gennaro, engineering rock star extraordinaire, for helping to pull this together. Also, to experience the Fedlet download OpenSSO Enterprise Update 1. Enjoy!
Join the Sun Identity Management team at the Burton Catalyst conference in San Diego, California on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009. Stop by our Hospitality Suite and learn how you can simplify security and compliance for your business while you enjoy some 80s style fun!
This is your VIP pass to our "Identity Underground" Hospitality Suite featuring:
\* Break dancing by the OuterCircle Crew
\* Signature East coast and West coast munchies
\* On demand demos of Sun's industry leading identity management solutions
\* One to one chat with Sun's identity domain experts
\* A raffle with great prizes - and the more you participate, the more chances you have to win!
Ian Glazer from the Burton Group wrote a nice blog on having a meaningful conversation around the definition of entitlement management. Ian was responding to a blog by Ian Yip and basically states we need more specificity around entitlements in the context of access controls. I agree with Ian's sentiment and thought I'd take some time to discuss how Sun thinks about entitlement management when it comes to access controls.
First, as Ian points out in his blog we agree that entitlement management is to vague a term and cuts across many facets of identity management including roles, provisioning, access controls and reporting. When it comes to access controls we've decided to refer to it as "entitlement enforcement" so that it's clear that we are talking about the run-time enforcement of access entitlements.
Second, when we refer to entitlement enforcement we believe that we are discussing the fine-grained access controls around resources. That is, rather than protecting "doorways" or coarse-grained access we provide authorization decisions around all the "objects" within an application or resource (often referred to as fine-grained authorization). For example, a common scenario we see is in the financial services area and the need to provide entitlement enforcement around specific fields within a banking portal. For instance, a banking portal may want to provide access controls that limit the amount of money that subjects such as individuals, roles or groups can transfer. I may have the ability to transfer $1 million dollars and Ian may have the ability to transfer $5. Note that the access controls I'm talking about are not only specific to urls, but also other resources such as fields, calendars, etc.
Third, entitlement enforcement requires policy enforcement points that are easy to deploy and scalable. Sun is approaching this in two ways. 1) OpenSSO can be deployed as a policy enforcement point or 2) we will be offering a Fedlet policy enforcement point, a lightweight method for embedding policy enforcement points within applications. The key to this effort is making it lightweight and performant at the same time. Basic jist is if you have all the capabilities to implement entitlement enforcement but it isn't repeatable and scalable in terms of deployment then it won't be practical to implement and could hinder adoption.
Four, Sun believes that all aspects of an entitlement enforcement solution imply scale. Your policy store needs to scale. The user interface needs to scale to allow people to manage lots o' policies and the entitlement enforcement solution needs to be performant to ensure it can handle lots and lots of authorization transactions.
Five, auditability and simulation of policies is important as well. Entitlement enforcement needs to fit in to the development process so that administrators and developers can work together to define applications, develop policies and test policies throughout development, QA, staging and production. Providing tools to do this and ensuring that admins can export policies from the entitlement solution so that they can develop error free scripts as they move from environment to environment is critical.
Six, identity services are key to entitlement enforcement. The fine-grained nature of entitlements means there is a much larger burden on developers to tie policy to a centralized system. There needs to be several options that developers can use to handle embedding entitlements in the application or container. This includes lightweight identity web services such as OAUTH/REST, standard protocols such as SAML/XACML and complete abstraction via agents. Depending on the customer, we believe you need to support multiple options. Whereas a Web 2.0 company may be very excited about REST a financial services company may be more focused on agents and completely abstracting authorization from the developer. As Gerry points out, there are many ways to do this whether it be using XACML, WS\*, OAUTH, etc, etc, etc.
Finally, Sun has a unique belief that entitlement enforcement should be part of your web access management solution. This is not specific to the definition of entitlement enforcement, but rather our belief around how to pragmatically implement it. Deploying separate WAM solution and entitlement enforcement solution adds unnecessary complexity to your identity infrastructure and vastly increases the TCO. It means that organizations have multiple products to maintain and upgrade. It also means that customers will likely have multiple policy stores within their organization. From our perspective, WAM solutions were built to handle entitlement enforcement and it is a natural extension of web access management that is more likely to lead to customer adoption rather then requiring someone to license and deploy a separate component in their environment.
Our entitlement solution is currently under construction at OpenSSO.org. It will be 100% XACML based and is focused on delivering everything I've described above. You can currently view it via the OpenSSO source code, but we will be providing more details shortly for you to test it out. We will also be showing the new capabilities at OpenSSO Community Day 3.0 in San Francisco this weekend. Make sure to attend so you can see it and provide feedback.
Our first community iPhone app, POSSO, is now available for download. Great to see people thinking about how to leverage the iPhone App Store for Identity and Access Management innovation. Although POSSO is a pretty basic app it does make your mind start to think about other tools that could be created. If I was an IT Admin, I'd love to be able to see my monitoring data on my iPhone. Imagine being able to check on the fly the # of logins per minute, or number of concurrent users, or # of users provisioned in a day. Pretty funky stuff. Check out POSSO and enjoy.
Almost everywhere I go I get the question . . . "What's Geneva Server?" "How does Geneva interoperate with OpenSSO?" "Are Geneva Server and Geneva Framework the same?" "Should I store my policies in OpenSSO or Geneva?"
In the past, I've had to provide long winded answers that leave me out-of-breath and huffing and puffing for air. Now, I can simply point to our new whitepaper, jointly produced with Microsoft, to provide the answers -- Microsoft “Geneva” Server and Sun OpenSSO: Enabling Unprecedented Collaboration Across Hetergeneous IT Environments.
The whitepaper validates a number of common use cases between OpenSSO and Geneva. It shows how you can use OpenSSO and Geneva to protect Sharepoint apps. It shows how you can use the OpenSSO Fedlet, which just won the best innovation award at the European Identity Conference, to protect .NET apps. In short it's a good read and answers some pretty commonly asked questions. Enjoy!
Read my extraordinary thoughts about the world of identity and access management. As an identity child prodigy, I have much to say about these subjects.