Two important identity interoperability demonstrations will occur at RSA two weeks from now: the OSIS User-Centric Identity Interop and the Concordia Multi-Protocol Federation Interop. During both you’ll see different projects and vendors publicly showing their identity software working together. But what you won’t see at the conference is what’s happening right now — the engineers behind these implementations working together to refine their deployments and their software to ensure that solutions that should work together in theory actually do in practice.
Like the previous OSIS Interop, the current one is testing both Information Card and OpenID implementations — sometimes in combination. I’m especially excited about this Interop for three reasons. First, the set of participants has expanded again by over 50% and includes many commercial deployments of these relatively new technologies. Second, much deeper testing is occurring than ever before. Thanks, in part, to significant efforts by Pamela Dingle and the Microsoft Identity Lab team, during this Interop not only are people trying their implementations with one another’s — they’re also systematically testing their support for an important range of protocol features using interop endpoints designed and deployed for this very purpose. Third, this Interop won’t end when the conference ends. Most of the participants plan to leave their endpoints up after the conference is over, enabling new participants to join and test later and for existing participants to re-test their implementations against the others when they deploy new versions. Visit the OSIS Interop demonstrations in person if you can, especially between 4:00-6:00 on both Tuesday and Wednesday during the conference.
The Concordia Interop is showing the use of Information Cards to sign into both SAML 2.0 and WS-Federation based federations. Both these federations are using SAML 2.0 tokens carrying consistent authentication context information. (I believe that this is the first public demonstration of WS-Federation implementations using SAML 2.0 tokens.) Furthermore, the Concordia Interop demonstrates the ability to bridge between WS-Federation and SAML federations, allowing identities originating in one to be used to authenticate to services in the other. Visit the Concordia workshop during the conference on Monday from 9:00-12:30.
Finally, I’m not the only one excited by these Interops. Axel Nennker, Francis Shanahan, Gerald Beuchelt, Prabath Siriwardena, Scott Kveton, Vittorio Bertocci, and Will Norris have all written about the upcoming OSIS Interop. There’s also a press release from the Concordia project. Hope to see many of you at RSA!