That Was The Catalyst That Was

Well, I'm sitting here in the Application Security track on the final day of Catalyst. Other bloggers (Kaliya, Phil, Mark) have covered the sessions in some detail; here are my highlights:
  • Wednesday
    • Mike Neuenschwander trashing a cell phone on stage, making a point about deprovisioning. Mike swung the phone by its headset cord and whacked it into the stage - cellphone deprovisioned.
    • Jarrod Jasper of GM, again on the importance of deprovisioning. Apparently a GM employee left the company and kept his cellphone. Said employee proceeded to start up a 900 number and ran up $50,000 a month on the phone. For 18 months... Ouch!
    • Johnny L's presentation on OpenSSO.
    • The Multi-Protocol Federated Identity Interoperability Demonstration - Sun's Access Manager acted as an identity provider to 13 service providers. The user could log in to a portal protected by Access Manager, then access the 13 SP sites without providing further credentials, each SP recognising the user's identity via SAML 1.0, SAML 1.1, Liberty ID-FF 1.2 or SAML 2.0. For the record, we worked with BMC, CA, DataPower, HP, IBM, Internet2, Novell, Symlabs and Trustgenix to pull this off. Kudos to all concerned, particularly Wei Sun and Emily Xu - ace developers on the Access Manager team. Emily arrived on Monday morning, set up, configured AM for the set of service providers... and that was it. Not one line of AM code changed between Monday morning and the demo event on Wednesday night.
  • Thursday
    • Ken Weiss of Charles Schwab with a compelling presentation on how Schwab have built a web services infrastructure to manage employee identity and access. Great delivery, great content.
    • Dick Hardt of Sxip's presentation on Identity 2.0. Wow - he was paging through slides about one every two seconds, each slide containing a single graphic or a word or two. Think D. A. Pennebaker's famous film of Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. The thrust of the presentation was that we need an Identity 2.0 to match Web 2.0, with protocols that are simple, secure and open. Dick sets a new standard for presentations at Catalyst - you're right, Don, definitely Presentation 2.0.
    • Sun's hospitality suite had a 'space' theme - Identity Mission '05. Our event organiser, Bianca Botello, did a truly excellent job - we definitely had the suite of the show.
    • Meeting Stefan Brands, who explained his technology for user-centric identity to me, and also warned me off reading his book - "It's very esoteric". Too late, Stefan... I'm already on chapter 2.
    • The after-party at the W bar, and waving Dick Hardt (Sxip) and John Shewchuck (Microsoft) off in a cab at 2am, Tijuana bound (them, not us!). Rather disappointingly, I hear that they returned intact. Oh well...
So - yet another great Catalyst. If you're working in identity management, and you can only attend one conference, make this the one.
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