Sun grows open source offerings

Sun will provide open source components of its Web authentication and single sign-on technologies as part of a project it is calling OpenSSO.

The Open Web Single Sign-On project includes a subset of components from Sun's forthcoming Java Access Manager 7.0. Sun opened a website for OpenSSO last week (opensso.dev.java.net) and published a roadmap for the project. Sun will make available the source code for OpenSSO in the hope that customers and Java developers will build its authentication capabilities into their applications. The company also will release a binary distribution and design documents, establish forums and make sample code available.

The source code, which will be released under the Sun Common Development and Distribution license, will cover basic identity services such as authentication and single-domain single sign-on, according to Sun officials. Sun also plans to release the source code for agents to connect website authentication and Web SSO technologies with Sun Java System Web Server and Sun Java System Application Server.

The company's goal is to make the use of single sign-on and Web access management a given for corporate adopters and get them to focus on using that technology for a more complex project: identity federation, the sharing of authentication information across corporate boundaries.

"One of the things we are looking at is moving the market forward and changing the conversation people are having about identity," director of product management for identity management at Sun, Eric Leach, said. "The analogy we are using is that to date we have really been arguing about the length and width of railroad ties, and what we really need to do is start laying track and get trains running on schedule. The overall goal of the project is to help users set a new agenda and give them the tools to make identity a part of everything they do."

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