Feeds

Bandit to attack open source identity management

Novell plans another ambush

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A number of news sites have reported that Novell will soon be announcing its latest foray into open source identity management: the Bandit project (a somewhat surprising choice of name given the focus on security, privacy and so forth).

Novell is sponsoring the project and contributing the engineering effort. While it is actively seeking external input, Novell "in consultation with the Bandit community, sets the project engineering goals and retains ultimate responsibility for the project".

The objectives of the project are to: enable application access to identity stores; support multiple and pluggable authentication methods and user-managed authentication credentials; provide a simple API for role-based access control; and simplify auditing and reporting for compliance based on open standards and specifications.

To meet these objectives, Bandit has identified a number of components:

  • Common Authentication Services Adapter (CASA) - for the storage of credentials and other authentication data by users and applications
  • Common Identity - a framework for abstracting different identity data stores based on the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI), which provides identity data mapping and transformation, caching, a policy engine, and a variety of connectors for different identity data stores, including LDAP, SQL, XML
  • Compliance Records Architecture - provides an API for auditing based on name/value pairs and a taxonomy for the hierarchical classification of audit records
  • Role Engine Architecture - for role-based access control and management of roles, relationships, membership and dynamic separation of duties.

Bandit is certainly an ambitious undertaking, as it sets out to address some of the more challenging, higher-level aspects of identity management such as role-based access control and compliance. Novell certainly has significant identity management expertise to contribute and it will be interesting to see how much of the intellectual property in its identity management solutions will migrate to the Bandit deliverables.

There is a degree of overlap with the Higgins project, which Novell joined at the end of February, particularly in the area of Common Identity.

Although there is no integration between the two open source initiatives at present, the Bandit team envisages the creation of a Higgins context provider (the means by which the Higgins Framework plugs into different identity repositories, protocols etc to provide application developers, via the Eclipse framework, with a common API to build on different identity management solutions) based on the Common Identity component.

This is not the first open source identity management initiative, but the involvement of identity management heavyweight Novell is significant. The fact that the project is focusing on higher-level identity management issues gives it added significance.

It will be interesting to see which, if any, of the other major identity management players, particularly CA, IBM, Oracle and Sun, all of whom are active in the open source community, choose to participate.

Copyright © 2006 Macehiter Ward-Dutton

This article was originally published at IT-Analysis.com.

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.