Thursday, April 19, 2007


PingIdentity, OpenID, Cardspace and Usability

I smiled when I saw a comment in my blog from Ashish Jain acknowledging that CardSpace is not only more secure but also does better in terms of usability when compared to OpenID. Hopefully other bloggers will start making similar comments...

Don't get it twisted as I am not attacking OpenID. On the contrary, I would love to see OpenID become wildly successful. The issue at hand is that Kim Cameron has set a pretty high bar and the only way OpenID could take the lead is if they incorporate the notion of relationship, attestation and authorization into the protocol before the next release.

One of the things that I am struggling with in this space is the lack of industry analyst coverage. I would have expected folks such as Michael Cote, James Governor, Gerry Gebel and others to have asked the question regarding how current web access management products such as Netegrity Siteminder, Oblix CoreID, Tivoli Access Manager , Yale CAS and others will support (or not) both Cardspace and OpenID. Hopefully they are aware that not all folks develop web sites where authentication is built into the application like all those web 2.0 Ruby on Rails sites.

I have noticed that PingIdentity has managed to bridge all of these protocols via their solutions but the usability question still remains. If I currently have a web access managment product, for example Siteminder and I have a current login page (fcc) how do I put a standard login, a Cardspace login as well as an OpenID login all on the same page? Surely, it would result in less usability if folks had to chase down where to login...

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