WS-Federation Security Specification
IBM and Microsoft (companies that are not known to be friends) released yesterday the WS-Federation Security Specification. It has not been released to the W3C for specification (but most likely will), mostly because the W3C is moving too slow and IBM/BEA/MS want the business world to start using this new standard. WS-Federation also follows IBM & Microsofts by-now familiar way of delivering WS- specifications with partners, signing-up ISVs with expertise in specific markets. Verisign and BEA put their names to WS-Security and Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) for example.
I really like the approach of Microsoft and IBM, standards bodies are not moving fast enough and we need this technology now. WS-Federation will really allow users of future Services to interoperate much easier with better security-by federating the users identity across several Web Services. This is a good spec. The problem is that since the W3C is sitting on its hands, there is competition in the standards space. That competition comes from the obstructionist company called SUN Microsystems.
SUN Microsystems cried foul today to the release WS-Federation security specification. Will this near bankrupt obstructionist company just stop acting all bitter and spiteful and kill off the competing Liberty Alliance specification for once and for all and join with IBM, BEA and Microsoft with the WS enhancements. Jeeze, if IBM and Microsoft can agree, why can't SUN bury the hatchet for the good of the industry. Liberty has the smell of CORBA to me (remember that specification that nobody understood or used).
I think that Liberty is dead in the water.
"There's got to be some overlap there," said Britta Glade, vice chairwoman of the Liberty Alliance Project's business and marketing expert group. "It focuses on federated identity. That's what we've been focusing on for two years."
Sun--whose two biggest rivals are Microsoft and IBM--launched Liberty at the behest of Visa International, but the effort now is controlled by many companies. There is no unwillingness to incorporate others' technology in Liberty, Glade said, adding that the group incorporated some of the work by an earlier Microsoft-IBM Web services effort, WS-Security.
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