There’s a picture that I hadn’t seen a lot of, but has recently been making the rounds more actively. It purports to characterize the modern identity management space as a whole. Johannes has updated it as of yesterday. I’m going to steal a bit of Johannes’s bandwidth to provide the picture here for reference, but please click on it to go and read his post.
Conor takes issue with the diagram, and Paul comments further, giving an example of how it could mislead. I have to say I’m sympathetic to their points. It’s hard to boil a complex space down into a simple picture, yes, but I think this single-dimension graphic does everything in the space a disservice in one way or another.
I’m going to make another observation. Now that there’s adoption vector information in the picture, what jumps out at me is that CardSpace has focused on making inroads on the client side, OpenID has focused (to the point of offering a bounty!) on adoption by relying parties, and SAML and the Liberty Alliance have focused on adoption by identity providers. Many of the folks at the Liberty table are “users of identity technology” rather than identity management technology vendors — and they generally happen to be large repositories of user accounts.
(By the way, I notice that Liberty announced a bunch of newly joining members today:
The newest members of Liberty Alliance are 2FA, Agència Catalana de Certificació, British Telecommunications PLC, Bronnoysund Register Centre, City University (London), Credentica, Danish Biometrics Research Project Consortium, Danish Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation, DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, Drummond Group Inc., Fugen Solutions, Inc., Fulvens Ltd, fun communications GmbH, Gemalto, GeoFederation, Hochhauser & Co., LLC, Luminance Consulting, Mindsphere AS, PayPal, Software Innovation ASA, Telefonica, Telenor R&D, Thales e-Security, Oslo University, University of Ottawa, University of Washington School of Law, UNINETT AS and the Sunderland (UK) City Council.
Impressive list, and it includes PayPal… Fascinating!)
Obviously it takes three to tango, so — just as obviously — we all need to keep improving our communications and the connections among the systems. In that spirit, for those who saw my talk yesterday and saw the cute little SAML teddy bear offering a great big hug, here’s where you can go to get your very own…