OASIS Group To Improve B-to-B Collaboration

OASIS members took another step toward improving secure Web services and trusted data exchange between enterprises by forming a new committee.

The OASIS WS-Federation Technical Committee plans to support the international standardization of an identity management technology that helps organizations share materials. Currently, the committee is using version 1.1 of a WS-Federation spec that was contributed to the project by eight member companies.

The new standard will help companies better collaborate using Web services.

"WS-Federation is a method for expressing and managing trust relationships among parties sharing identity data," explained James Bryce Clark, director of standards development for OASIS, in a prepared statement.

Clark added that the WS-Federation adds to a number of OASIS standardization efforts, including:

  • WS-Trust OASIS Standard for security token exchange;
  • WS-Policy family of methods for describing constraints and rules; and
  • WS-Security OASIS Standard for associating security content with SOAP messages.

The current problem with enterprise collaboration is that it "often takes weeks for companies to set up user accounts and access privileges," according to Paul Cotton, convener of the OASIS WS-Federation Technical Committee. The solution is to let companies store, manage and share accounts, and the new spec aims at enabling those capabilities.

To improve the process, the committee plans to work on "advance capabilities for structuring and acquiring federation metadata." It is also working on sign-out notifications, plus the use of pseudonyms, identity mapping and attribute services, according to an announcement issued by OASIS.

The WS-Federation Technical Committee consists of representatives from Active Endpoints, AmberPoint, BEA Systems, BMC Software, CA, Forum Systems, HP, IBM, IONA, Novell, Microsoft, Progress Software, Red Hat, SOA Software, TIBCO, VeriSign, webMethods and others. OASIS is a nonprofit consortium that develops e-business standards.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.