Security/identity / Venn · 2007-03-28

The Venn of identity

My SAML parfait diagram experiment went pretty well. I heard from a number of people who found it helpful, and one fellow even asked for the source (, need you ask?) so he could try tweaking it to highlight one profile/protocol to which I’d given short shrift.

At around the same time, some people who came across the SAML (and Liberty)/OpenID/CardSpace Venn diagram that appears in the RSA talk I did with Liberty Alliance director Brett McDowell asked me to post it because they thought it was generally useful. I’m definitely not the artistic type, but I guess I can draw boxes and lines — and bubbles — well enough! The following version isn’t quite as pretty as the RSA one because that was done by a professional graphic artist for the occasion, but I’ve continued to fiddle with the wording a bit so I needed my own copy. (You really do need to click to enlarge this one, to read it properly.)

Identity Venn diagram

Giving credit where it’s due: The main author of this diagram is really Paul Madsen, who sketched an early version during the discussion of the identity triangle diagram that Johannes Ernst put together, so Johannes deserves a hat-tip for his original series. And the title of the post is stolen shamelessly from my former Sun colleague Gary Ellison, who used it for a presentation to the JA-SIG on federation, identity, and web services back in 2003.

In the spirit of some of Gary’s diagrams but at a higher level, I recently did another Venn diagram to flesh out my “convergence touchpoints” material in the RSA slides, providing a view that stretches across federated identity and web services. I can’t credit/blame anyone but myself for this one. Really, it’s slightly more than a Venn because the shapes of the bubbles hint at horizontal applicability. (Again, click to enlarge.)

Identity and web services Venn diagram

Let me know what you think…