Vendor stretches its ID management suite

Identity management provider Fischer International last week released a suite of software focused on compliance, provisioning and password management.

The centerpiece of Identity Suite 2.0 is its compliance engine, which supplies a user authorization service and lets companies record and audit which users are accessing what network resources and when. The compliance features are built on the company's DataForum engine, which is based on Java and XML and provides an auditing and tracking capability to all pieces of the Fischer suite.

Also part of the suite are Fischer Password Manager, Fischer Provisioning and iFly, which provides identity services to mobile users.

The compliance engine lets users discover and eliminate rogue or deactivated accounts, and ensures that each user account on each system has the appropriate access credentials. The engine also compiles an audit trail that shows that an organization has adhered to compliance regulations and how it has corrected any problems.

"We are seeing a lot of interest in compliance," says Trent Henry, an analyst with Burton Group. The interest is being driven by regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

"We are seeing a lot of compliance and auditing features being added to base identity-management platforms and we are evaluating if that is where those features need to be."

Fischer, which competes with companies such as Courion, Thor and M-Tech, has its roots in the mainframe days, having provided a big iron-based directory. Directory services technology is the key underpinning to today's identity management systems.

Major vendors such as BMC, Computer Associates, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, RSA and Sun are developing identity platforms around technology they have built or acquired. The task now for those vendors is to integrate that technology, create standard interfaces and management tools, and eliminate feature overlap.

Fischer, while not addressing all the identity infrastructure pieces (including access management) planned by the major vendors, says the tight integration of its products means users aren't left today with such a grab bag of technology.

Fischer's DataForum workflow engine is tuned for identity and provisioning, and has extensive extract, transform and load capabilities that let companies move data from multiple sources and reformat it. Identity Suite 2.0 has a Compliance Lode Mode, which lets users clean up their directory data so it adheres to their compliance needs.

The Identity Suite has a feature called the Business and Policy Workflow GUI. It lets users build and modify workflows that run on DataForum without programming or scripting.

The software runs on Java-based applications servers, including IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and Apache Tomcat. The average implementation of Identity Suite 2.0 is priced at US$750,000 for a large organization.

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