Globalisation means more cooperation, single global market, and bundling of offers and services. For IT systems it means more of common, open standards, protocols and trust-relations, distributed, real-time applications and web-services. Technology plays important role in enabling this cooperation, on an enterprise level, but also in collaboration with suppliers, partners and customers/external users. Traditional Identity Management (IM) is getting an obstacle for business development, slowing down the pace of interconnectivity; therefore we are going to see rapid development in this area. Identity management is on the evolution path from enclosed, perimeter defence “silo” system paradigm towards the open, federated identity systems architecture where users are not administrated within each enterprise separately. Common infrastructure will soon be in place.
Users want to access information/content through Web Services. For user it doesn’t matter if an information is stored in database, LDAP-server, or in file at the remote place. The organisations must adapt to user requirements, provide Web-service that will satisfy users or simply die. All the technological issues are solvable. This project aims to show what steps, from the technical point of view, a number of independent, “silo” type organisations need to undergo in order to come under the same, Federated Identity Management (FIM) umbrella. The author have tried to explain this process following the example of implementation of new paradigm in Danish libraries. Group of Danish libraries are connected in certain areas, but their employees and users are still bound to smaller or bigger perimeters. They are currently(ultimo 2006) running the project in the area of digital services, and FIM issue plays central role there.
In order to make my research more empirical I have been in touch with the team of it-professionals from Lenio (lenio.dk). Lenio is the leading Danish company in the area of identity management. In the project period I will take part in the preparation for implementation of Single-Sign-On (SSO) and the FIM solution for Danish libraries. The implementation is based on PingFederate, the product developed by American company Ping Identity. Product seems to be ok, but does it address all the issues, library environment is craving for? In the conclusion of this project a clear answer to this question is given.
Project’s scope is covering mostly technological issues. Each library-partner who is planning to join the federation must make technical preparation so that it’s it-systems gets ready for future federal IM. Beside technical preparation, establishment of trust relationship with partners requires putting in place number of procedural issues, legal agreements etc. These important challenges has not been addressed in this project, as the scope of the project is limited to technological issues.