Saturday May 14, 2005

Sun/Microsoft Press Conference

Well - it's done. I've been involved in the web single sign-on interoperability work with Microsoft since the beginning of the year - four and a half months of painstaking specification work, designing a demo, going on vacation while the real engineers built the demo (BIG kudos to Emily for the protocol work and Lauren for the web pages on our side, Ryan on the MS side - the demo worked flawlessly and looked great!) then a final flurry of work on the demo script and rehearsals for the big day.
Watch the webcast - I'm presenting the demo with Don Schmidt of Microsoft. There's a press release (if that's your sort of thing) and a factsheet. The actual specs are online at Sun and Microsoft. I'm not going to repeat any of that here. I will say that it is somewhat nerve-wracking giving a live presentation just 6 feet from Steve Ballmer and Scott McNealy! AND - there is no truth in the rumour that I am Steve Ballmer's 'good twin'...
I've read blogs and comments that represent this as Sun moving from open to proprietary standards. This is emphatically not the case. The big news, as I see it, is that customers now have a way to implement SSO with the upcoming Active Directory Federation Services that would otherwise not exist. These specifications are published and will be submitted to a standards process, so other identity management vendors can implement them or not as they see fit.
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