Liberty Alliance Releases People Service in Latest Version of Liberty Web Services 2005

New ID-WSF 2.0 functionality includes the industry’s first open framework for managing social applications in a federated network

Liberty Alliance Project – December 5, 2005 — The Liberty Alliance Project, a global consortium for open federated identity and Web services standards, today announced the public release of the latest version of ID-WSF 2.0, Liberty’s open framework for identity-based Web services. With this release, Liberty Web Services now incorporates additional support for open standards including SAML 2.0 and WS-Addressing, as well as a new social network layer for allowing consumers and enterprise users to manage a variety of social applications. Today’s news marks the second of three updates Liberty will make to the ID-WSF 2.0 framework.

The Liberty ID-WSF People Service™, a key component in this latest release, is the industry’s first comprehensive platform for managing social information within an open federated network environment. People Service allows consumers and enterprise users to manage social applications such as bookmarks, blogging, calendars, photo sharing and instant messaging from a common layer within the ID-WSF 2.0 framework. Liberty People Service has been developed to allow individuals to easily store, maintain, and categorize online relationships so that other socially-aware Web services applications can leverage information based on the consent and privacy controls established by a user in the federated social network.

Liberty People Service allows users to manage relationships with friends, colleagues and family in a singe location and then leverage these relationships at various applications that build on a social layer. Users invited to view information at one or more sites can easily do so without having to establish a new account at each application in the federated social network. This makes sharing information easier and provides greater protection from online fraud by enabling a more systematic enforcement of privacy policies and reducing duplication of identity data throughout the network.

“With Liberty Alliance People Service, consumers and enterprise users can now centrally manage all of their online social relationships using a federated network approach with privacy controls built into the system,” said Timo Skytta, vice president of the Liberty Alliance and Director, Web Services, Nokia. “Liberty Alliance People Service allows users to leverage the privacy functionality of Liberty Web Services to more easily and securely share social and enterprise information across applications, platforms and service providers.”

Liberty Alliance People Service provides a foundation for enhancing a variety of other applications such as Liberty’s Geolocation, Contact Book and Presence Web services. The functionality of these applications is maximized when there are multiple users involved and People Service provides the open framework for easily connecting users and applications. By providing this framework, Liberty People Service can enable increased functionality of all Web services applications linked in the federated social network.

In addition to People Service, Liberty Alliance has also made the following enhancements to ID-WSF 2.0:

SAML 2.0 – SAML 2.0 provides a refined assertion model versus previous versions and ID-WSF 2.0 now leverages these enhancements to allow SAML 2.0 assertions to be used as security tokens.

WS-Addressing – By incorporating WS-Addressing, ID-WSF 2.0 now enables asynchronous messaging capabilities for more easily moving secure data across organizational boundaries. WS-Addressing defines an interoperable approach to identifying the various actors in a Web services transaction.

Subscription and Notification – This new feature implements a push-model for attribute sharing. With this functionality users can automatically be notified about new data values according to different events specified by the individual. This is specifically useful in services such as Presence and Geolocation.
Identity Tokens – Provides a structured mechanism to refer to a user inside the network, together with any attributes that are needed for interaction with such user and the services that are provided on their behalf.

The enhancements released today are an important step in delivering on the roadmap Liberty has established for regularly increasing Liberty Web Services functionality based on well defined market requirements. Liberty released the first version of ID-WSF in 2003. ID-WSF 2.0 was released in February 2005 when Liberty extended ID-WSF to include support for SAML 2.0. The final version of ID-WSF 2.0 will be released in the first half of 2006.

“The latest version of Liberty Web Services provides organizations and consumers with greater capabilities for easily managing relationships in a federated social network,” said Carolina Canales-Valenzuela, co-chair of the Liberty Technology Expert Group and Senior Systems Manager at Ericsson. “With the addition of People Service to ID-WSF 2.0, organizations can now offer a variety of new social Web service applications based on a flexible framework that is open, easy to manage and widely deployed.”

The draft specifications for Liberty People Service are available for download at https://www.projectliberty.org/resources/specifications.php#box2 . Once Liberty releases a draft version of specifications they are available to everyone – both Liberty members and non-members alike — for comment and review. Liberty Alliance is also releasing a whitepaper in support of today’s news. The whitepaper, “Liberty ID-WSF People Services – federated social identity” is authored by Paul Madsen, co-chair of the Liberty Technology Expert Group and is available at https://www.projectliberty.org/resources/whitepapers/Liberty_Federated_Social_Identity.pdf

Liberty Alliance regularly incorporates relevant work from other open standards bodies into its specifications in order to leverage and add value to already existing open industry standards. Today’s release of ID-WSF 2.0 incorporates and profiles the latest versions of the OASIS WS-Security specification and its Profile for SAML 2.0 as well as WS-Addressing. The identities managed within Liberty People Service are compatible within SAML 2.0 based single sign-on (SSO) and Liberty ID-WSF-based identity service transactions.

About the Liberty Alliance Project
The Liberty Alliance Project (www.projectliberty.org) is a global alliance of companies, non-profit and government organizations developing open standards and business, policy and privacy guidelines for federated network identity. Federated identity offers businesses, governments, employees and consumers a more convenient and secure way to control identity information and is a key component in driving the use of e-commerce, personalized data services and identity-based Web services. Liberty specifications are deployed worldwide by organizations that include American Express, AOL, BIPAC, Ericsson, General Motors, France Telecom, Nokia, NTT and Sun Microsystems. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations. A full list of Liberty Alliance members, as well as information about how to become a member, is available at www.projectliberty.org

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