Federation Acceleration


Ping ID Corp released the results of their quarterly survey on federation today. The results of the survey of 100 corporations show a federation acceleration and increased planning for future federation projects:

  • End-user convenience, better partner integration, and a reduction in overall IT costs were cited as the top three drivers of federation.
  • The number of federations in production increased from 1% in Q1 to 7% in Q2.
  • Over 50% surveyed were planning to participate in between 1 and 3 federations within the next 24 months.
  • Approximately 48% of those surveyed believed each of their federations would contain between 1 and 3 organizations within 24 months.
  • 21% were being driven to federate by partners, while 72% were being driven to federate by either an internal business group or their IT department.
  • Interest in deploying the SAML 2.0 and WS-Federation specifications rises significantly in Q4 of 2004 and continues through Q2 of 2005.
  • Ease of Integration and Vendor Interoperability were cites as top characteristics desired in federation products.

The survey was quoted in a TechUpdate article by Dan Farber where he gives some background on the current state of the protocols:

Currently, SAML 1.1 is the dominant protocol used for federation. Vendors have announced support for the Liberty Alliance Liberty ID-FF 1.1, but few are shipping in a substantial way, according to Eric Norlin, senior vice president of marketing at Ping Identity. The survey indicated that interest in SAML 2.0 and WS Federation will begin to ramp up significantly in the latter part of 2004 and continue throughout 2005.

However, even with standards like SAML 1.1, interoperability problems crop up. Developers tend to create custom extensions or modify the code in a way that requires compliance testing and tweaking every time a node is added to a federation. Liberty Alliance is attempting to fix that problem. WS-Federation, according to Norlin, is very broad in its semantics, and doesn't become interoperable until profiles are defined that ride on top of the protocol.
From Federation acceleration - TechUpdate - ZDNet
Referenced Tue Jun 15 2004 10:45:12 GMT-0600