IdM Challenge

InfoWorld put six identity management products through the wringer in an environment designed to test them in real-world scenarios. Here's the conclusion:

Every so often, when we're lucky, widespread necessity and solution maturity collide head-on. This is exactly what's happening today in the sphere of identity management. Although the underlying concepts of identity management aren't new, it's becoming clear that the execution of these concepts by solutions vendors is ready for the mainstream.

Between mandates from on high, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, and needs from below, such as the need to address management headaches associated with the constant march of new applications into the core infrastructure, the time of managing disparate systems and applications in silos is necessarily drawing to a close.

Bringing disparate systems together for centralized user provisioning and access management is a significant challenge, as our testing showed, but it's more than possible -- it's inevitable. Automating your infrastructure by implementing an identity management solution is likely to be the largest IT project you'll undertake for years to come, but it also has the potential to be the most rewarding. The potential calm after the storm is not to be overstated.

Even within our limited testing scenario, it was clear that these products are still evolving.

Sun Identity Manager seemed the most mature overall, with strong integration and management capabilities, but still lacks the reporting and front-end polish we were expecting. IBM and Courion have similar work to do on the manageability front. Indeed, Courion needs to keep working on making the flexibility of its solution more accessible. Novell has paid much attention to its front-end tools, producing the easiest solution to configure and manage by far, but it still needs work on the back end to match the depth of Courion or Thor. Finally, Thor was strong from stem to stern, although their implementation process required a good share of custom coding as well.
From The identity management challenge | InfoWorld | Review | 2005-10-07 | By
Referenced Fri Oct 07 2005 08:56:36 GMT-0600 (MDT)

The feature also includes pieces on identity management in action and federation. Overall, a really worthwhile set of tests and collection of information--probably the most comprehensive I've seen.