Trustgenix adds protocol translation to identity server

Trustgenix Monday announced the latest version of its identity software that features a translation engine for integrating disparate protocols that allow companies to share user authentication.

The company also said that its IdentityBridge 2.5, a server focused on federating identities among companies or corporate divisions, would support the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0, the latest version of the standards-based authentication protocol, and provide a framework for end-users to manage their privacy.

Rival Ping Identity also plans to release support for SAML 2.0 in the coming month, according to the company's monthly newsletter.

"Trustgenix is one of the few vendors that is doing protocol translation," says Gerry Gebel, an analyst with the Burton Group. "A lot of vendors have multi-protocol hubs, but Trustgenix is one of the few that is translating between protocols."

In contrast, Ping is locked on SAML 2.0.

"Ping is focused on convergence," says Gebel. "Ping is promoting that people should move to SAML 2.0 and not linger in multi-protocol."

SAML 2.0 was approved as an official standard in March by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). Observers say vendors are now proving SAML interoperability among products just as early adopters are beginning to get serious about the technology.

In August, the Liberty Alliance hosted its first test for multi-vendor interoperability based on SAML 2.0 and the Liberty Identity Web Services Framework 1.1 specifications. Eight participants passed -- The Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute, Ericsson, Novell, Oracle, Reactivity, Sun, Symlabs and Trustgenix.

In February at the RSA security conference, 13 vendors including CA, Entrust, HP, Oracle, RSA Security, Sun and Trustgenix staged a SAML 2.0 interoperability demonstration that also included the federal government and its E-Authentication Initiative.

And in July, The Burton Group staged an interoperability demonstration among 14 vendors, including Trustgenix and Ping, using multiple protocols, including SAML 2.0, the Liberty Alliance specifications, the Shibboleth protocols developed for Internet2, and the WS-Federation protocol developed by IBM and Microsoft.

With its IdentityBridge 2.5, Trustgenix has developed its translation technology to support SAML 1.1, 1.2 and 2.0 and the Liberty Alliance specifications 1.1 and 1.2.

With the new privacy manager, Trustgenix is adding framework for users to define privacy polices that translate to a set of questions posed to end-users. For example, an end-user on a payment site may see a screen asking for them to confirm that a payment can be changed to their account.

"With federated identity deployments there are suddenly a number of interesting application ideas in the enterprise such as business-to-business and business-to-employee, but we are seeing demand for business-to-consumer," says Atul Tulshibagwale, CEO of Trustgenix. "When you do that, you need privacy controls because you are exchanging data about the user between independent sites." Tulshibagwale says Trustgenix believes federated identity is moving from being about deployment to management of the technology.

Trustgenix says it will ship IdentityBridge 2.5 on Nov. 7 and it will be priced at US$25,000 per connection.

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More about Burton GroupEntrustEricsson AustraliaHPIBM AustraliaIdentity SoftwareInternet2Liberty AllianceMicrosoftNovellOracleOrganization for the Advancement of Structured Information StandardsRSARSA, The Security Division of EMC

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