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Concordia Project Advances Interoperability Among Digital Identity Management Solutions

Identity community focuses on the development of use cases and interoperability scenarios at the third Concordia meeting scheduled for June 26 at Catalyst 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Liberty Alliance - June 06, 2007 -- The Concordia Project today announced the third face-to-face meeting taking place at Catalyst 2007 on June 26 in San Francisco. Concordia is a global, cross-industry initiative formed by members of the identity management community to drive harmonization and interoperability among various identity initiatives and protocols. This meeting will focus on gathering and refining use cases for prioritization of rapid interoperability efforts with presentations from AOL, the Government of British Columbia, General Motors and others.

Named after the Roman goddess of agreement, understanding and harmony, the Concordia Project represents a significant turning point in the collaborative development of open and interoperable digital identity management solutions. Recognizing today’s heterogeneous deployment environment, Concordia is bringing individuals and organizations from many parts of the identity community together to identify how to most efficiently use multiple identity specifications in concert. Concordia is open to all individuals and organizations interested in speeding the development of a ubiquitous, interoperable and privacy-respecting Internet Identity layer.

Concordia participants have started by documenting a range of use cases where the harmonization of identity solutions would provide users, enterprises and organizations with valuable new identity management functionality. A number of use cases involving Liberty Web Services (ID-WSF), CardSpace, OpenID, SAML 2.0, and WS-Federation technologies have already been identified. With today’s news, the Concordia Project is issuing a global call for use cases with interoperability scenarios. As the use case development work progresses, the Concordia Project will focus on collaboratively developing open standards and interoperability profiles to meet defined requirements. Individuals and organizations interested in joining the public forum, submitting a use case or viewing use cases contributed to date can visit the Concordia Project wiki at http://projectconcordia.org/index.php/Main_Page

At the Catalyst 2007 meeting, end deployers will present use cases with interoperability scenarios illustrating business and user benefits that could be delivered by the harmonization of identity initiatives. An expert technology panel consisting of Conor Cahill of Intel representing Liberty Alliance, Mike Jones from Microsoft and David Recordon of VeriSign representing OpenID, will discuss possible technology solutions to meet use case requirements presented. The Concordia Project expects to identify 2 - 3 priority use cases over the short-term and then deliver the first set of open standards this calendar year.

“As the global identity market continues to evolve, there can be no doubt that the identity community must work together to successfully advance next generation identity-based applications and services,” said Roger Sullivan, president of the Liberty Alliance Management Board and vice president of Oracle Identity Management. “The Concordia Project is helping to ensure that the development of a ubiquitous, interoperable and privacy-respecting Internet identity layer advances quickly based on a foundation of industry collaboration, real-world use cases and open standards.”

Nearly 50 individuals have joined Concordia since it was launched to the identity community at the RSA Conference in February. The first face-to-face Concordia meeting took place in Brussels in April at the IOS event jointly produced by the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) and Liberty Alliance. The second meeting was held in May at the IIW in Mountain View, CA. The third meeting at Catalyst will take place on June 26 from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Hilton, San Francisco. More information and registration is available online. All representatives of the global identity community are encouraged to attend all Concordia meetings.

"Identity system interoperability is becoming harder to accomplish as the industry continues to bring a steady stream of new capabilities and standards to the market, such as SAML, ID-WSF, OpenID, information cards, and WS-*," said Gerry Gebel, Service Director at Burton Group. "Concordia can play an important role in helping coordinate various industry efforts to foster convergence where possible, thereby reducing complexity and confusion for those deploying and developing advanced identity technologies."

The following individuals and organizations have offered support for the Concordia Project:

AOL - "AOL is very happy to be part of the Concordia Project,” says Frank Ambrose, Senior Vice President of AOL's Technology Infrastructure. "We are committed to open and interoperable identity solutions and we want consumers to be able to manage their identities easily and effortlessly. Doing so requires us to support a wide range of identity solutions and protocols, ranging from ultra-private to ultra-open, and everything in between - we want this range to be transparent to our consumers, allowing them to 'just do what they want to do' without thinking about the protocols enabling the transactions and activities in the background. We're eager to work collectively with the industry and develop the necessary solutions to help our customers manage their identities, seamlessly."

Province of British Columbia - "The Province is working hard to enable information sharing between the many public and private sector organizations that deliver government services, and in addition, enable Citizen Centered Service Delivery to our businesses and citizens," says Dave Nikolejsin, Chief Information Officer for the Province. "We are excited to be able to share our requirements for scalable federation, secure authentication and privacy protection for our citizens with the Concordia initiative and provide the government perspective to this challenging topic."

CA – “The Concordia program will help our industry establish true ubiquitous identity interoperability for the Internet – the absence of which has increased the risks and complexity associated with doing business on the Internet,” said Jeff Broberg, senior architect for security management at CA. “Through our engagement with the Liberty Alliance, Project Higgins, OASIS, OSIS, and other groups, CA is furthering the interests of our customers worldwide and contributing significant intellectual capital to the continued evolution of e-commerce.”

Luminance Consulting - "Divergent approaches to solving identity and web services challenges present an added layer of complexity to enterprises and developers on a global basis. Luminance Consulting applauds Concordia’s effort to drive harmonization and interoperability among various identity initiatives and feels quite strongly that this effort will bring tangible benefit to our clients in the identity and Web services marketplace." Andrew Shikiar, Principal, Luminance Consulting

Falkin Systems LLC “The industry needs a collaborative forum to drive the conversations and processes required to advance the harmonization of identity initiatives. Concordia is unique in that it invites all of the players and stakeholders to come together to address use cases and interoperability issues collaboratively in an open manner. We believe Concordia has the potential to provide clarity in the market and help speed the deployment of a variety of new interoperable and strong identity solutions.” Rob Marano, CTO, Falkin Systems LLC.

FuGen Solutions - "FuGen Solutions applauds the efforts of the Concordia Program to drive harmonization of identity and web services standards and protocols," said Lena Kannappan, former chair of the Web Services convergence committee, and CEO of FuGen Solutions, a managed identity services provider who provides pre-production scanning, testing and verification services. "We look forward to participating in the program and contributing real-world use cases that reflect our customers' interoperability needs."

Novell – “Technology created in a vacuum causes serious challenges for adopters and slows the adoption of vital identity technologies," said Justin Taylor, chief strategist of Digital Identity for Novell. "Through the Concordia Program, and other open source identity projects like Novell's Bandit project, next-generation identity standards will be more than just open standards. They will truly be open to the needs of the global community regardless of size or technological affiliation.”

Oracle - “Oracle is committed to open, interoperable, and standards-compliant identity management solutions,” said Hasan Rizvi, vice president, Identity and Security Products, Oracle. “We are pleased to support the Concordia Program where discussions and standards development can take place in a collaborative forum.”

Ping Identity - "We see the line between consumer-facing authentication technologies like OpenID, Liberty ID-WSF, and CardSpace, and the more enterprise focused SAML and WS-Federation blurring," said Andre Durand, CEO, Ping Identity Corporation. "Our customers have lots of use cases that combine the different technologies. That's why we're so excited about participating in the Concordia program to help define how these various identity systems can co-exist and interoperate to produce a new era of 'Internet-scale identity'."

RSA, The Security Division of EMC – “RSA has a long history of delivering interoperable and standards-based information-centric security solutions to meet the needs of heterogeneous environments. We are pleased to support the Concordia Program, to create more value around adequate privacy mechanisms for electronic identities,” said Sean Kline, Director of Product Management, Access and Consumer Solutions Group at RSA, The Security Division of EMC. “Our continued work with standards organizations helps to create industry standards that secure people – including employees, partners and consumers – and related data across devices and networks by establishing identity and controlling access. This results in helping businesses worldwide to build the confidence that their information infrastructure is safe and secure.”

Sun Microsystems - "The Concordia Project is about the identity industry coming together to collaboratively address the harmonization and interoperability of identity specifications and protocols," said Bill Smith, senior director of business strategy, Sun Microsystems. "Sun is pleased to take part in Concordia, the next phase in the development of open and interoperable standards, in order to provide our customers and partners with the standards-based tools they need to meet their business objectives."

Symlabs – "Symlabs embraces a universe of interoperable identity solutions and has contributed to it by supporting all the protocols from both the Liberty and WS-* worlds in our federation products. But, with the multitude of components in Web Services specifications comes some uncertainty in exactly how to deploy them. The use case approach employed by Concordia is a powerful way to gain clarity in this area, as our experience with Liberty's ID-WSF 2.0 framework has shown. We welcome the Concordia Program and believe it will shed significant light on how the pieces of the identity puzzle fit together, bring maturity to WS-*, and deliver benefits to existing ID-WSF adopters," said Sampo Kellomäki, Identity Architect, Symlabs.

About the Concordia Project

The Concordia Project, conceived of by members of the Liberty Alliance, is an organizationally independent global initiative consisting of representatives from the CardSpace, Liberty Alliance, openID, openLiberty.org, open source, SAML 2.0 and WS-Federation communities designed to define the identity spectrum and drive harmonization and interoperability across identity specifications and protocols. Recognizing that different protocols work best in different situations but that ultimately the whole spectrum must interoperate, Concordia is focused on the collaborative development of real world use cases and open standards to advance the development and deployment of heterogeneous, interoperable identity solutions that deliver a wide range of new functionality to enterprises, governments and users worldwide. Concordia is open to all individuals and organizations interested in collaborating on the development of a ubiquitous, interoperable and privacy-respecting Internet identity layer. More information about the Concordia Project is available at www.projectconcordia.org

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