VeriSign opens up Web services road map

VeriSign announced its Web services push at RSA Conference 2002 Tuesday, unveiling plans to natively integrate its VeriSign Trust Services model with a stellar cast of Web services platform players and to offer open standards-based APIs and developer toolkits for in-house application integration efforts.

IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, and webMethods Inc. have all agreed to support and implement VeriSign's Trust Services framework open standards approach to offer a seamless interface to VeriSign's digital identity, authentication and authorization, and transaction services, said Anil Pereira, senior vice president and spokesman for Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign.

VeriSign also announced APIs and developer tools and a new service provider platform, designed for service providers, system integrators, and value-added resellers, to help its new targeted developer audience establish its Trusted Services framework as the underpinnings to a working and secure Web services environment.

"We haven't concentrated a lot on the developer community in our history," said Pereira. "But now you need to be a developer-focused company and have developer-focused [Web services] efforts, and that's why we moved forward in this direction."

Pereira said building a seamless interface with major Web services platforms players was critical to taking the confusion and complexity out of Web services-enabled enterprises. The open standards interfaces will include XKMS (XML Key Management Standard) and SAML (Security Assertions Markup Language) to enable multiple services access and to allow transactions to occur without application code changes.

Although VeriSign is a member of the Liberty Alliance, Pereira said his company was unwilling to become actively involved in the public "platform wars" taking place between Microsoft's Passport authentication system and the Liberty Alliance's authentication standards efforts. Instead, VeriSign will serve as the default identity addressing mechanism in Web services platforms through its APIs, he added.

The toolkit suite will include pre-constructed connectors, tutorials, class libraries, case examples, and documentation