1.1 Specifications Provide Maintenance Updates to 1.0 Specifications
Liberty Alliance Project – The Liberty Alliance Project, a business and technology consortium formed to develop open specifications for federated network identity, today ratified the final version of its 1.1 specifications, on schedule according to goals the Alliance set in Q4 of last year. In November, the Liberty Alliance publicly posted a draft of the 1.1 specifications, welcoming Alliance members and non-members to review the specifications and provide feedback. The final version released today incorporates feedback received during the review period.
“Today’s ratification of the 1.1 identity federation framework signals more forward progress by the Liberty Alliance and its 150 member organizations. Our specifications are evolving, Liberty-enabled products are being planned and delivered to market, and members are talking about implementing the specifications in a variety of interesting ways to solve important business challenges,” said Simon Nicholson, chairman of the Liberty Alliance Business and Marketing Group. “To put this into perspective, we began work just 12 months ago, and today our specifications are being incorporated into internal and external systems. In the standards world, that kind of progress is nothing short of remarkable and demonstrates how the Liberty Alliance is providing real world solutions to real world problems.”
The version 1.1 specifications provide maintenance updates to the version 1.0 specifications released in July 2002. Version 1.1 includes editorial changes that clarify the version 1.0 specifications, as well as fixes and enhancements. The majority of the updates in version 1.1 are focused on reducing barriers for implementers, by improving flexibility and clarifying some ambiguities in version 1.0.
In addition to updates provided in the draft version of 1.1 (please see www.projectliberty.org/press/releases/2002-11-19.html for additional details), the final version of 1.1 includes changes such as adding a mechanism to confirm that global log-out has occurred. The final 1.1 specifications can be reviewed or downloaded at www.projectliberty.org/specs/index.html.
The 1.1 specifications focus on enabling interoperability between technology systems to make it easy for businesses to provide opt-in account linking and simplified sign-on functionality to partners, customers and employees. Some examples that illustrate how the specifications could benefit end-users:
Businesses and other organizations could increase productivity and reduce hassle for their employees by linking the various applications they use to do their jobs, and/or applications on the corporate Intranet, such as 401K, health benefits, and travel services. This would enable employees to move seamlessly from one service or application to another without having to enter multiple user names and passwords.
Businesses and other organizations could reduce IT costs, increase operational efficiencies and enhance relationships with their suppliers, vendors or other partners by enabling them to access multiple business applications within an extranet in a more seamless way.
Businesses and other organizations could provide more convenience to customers. In the travel industry, for example, various companies that choose to establish partnerships, or “circles of trust,” could provide their customers with the ability to book airline tickets, rent cars, reserve hotel rooms using the affinity programs within each of the companies without requiring customers to enter usernames and password information at each site.
The Liberty Alliance anticipates that its next major release of specifications will be issued in the first half of 2003. The next release will provide an identity services framework and infrastructure for developing and supporting identity-enabled Web services from companies, organizations or government entities. The infrastructure will include a framework for permissions-based attribute sharing and will allow groups of organizations, often referred to as “circles of trust” or authentication domains, to be linked together, as opposed to operating as separate islands.
About the Liberty Alliance Project
The Liberty Alliance Project (www.projectliberty.org) is an alliance of 150 technology and consumer organizations formed to develop and deploy open, federated network identification specifications that support all current and emerging network devices in the digital economy. Federated identity will help drive the next generation of the Internet, offering businesses and consumers convenience and choice. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.