Computer Associates unveils identity management suite

With the intention to bring what it calls the core aspects of identity management into one suite of products, on Monday Computer Associates Inc. unveiled plans for its eTrust Identity and Access Management Suite – a standards-based solution for automating and integrating identity and access management.

The full suite with a single user interface and a single user platform will not be available until May 2004. However, according to Bill Mann, director, eTrust vice-president of product management, the first of six components which help build the new strategy of having a single user interface – eTrust Admin – is currently available.

eTrust Admin is provisioning software that has an updated user interface and will help customers tie user provisioning features to other business processes. It will provide complete identity lifecycle management for the automated provisioning of systems, applications and physical resources, according to the company.

The other products in the suite will include eTrust Access Control of identity-based access control to servers, files and applications; eTrust Audit for identity-based auditing; eTrust Directory for a scalable identity repository; eTrust Single Sign-On for access to multiple applications; and eTrust Web Access Control for idneity-based access control to Web sites, portals or other extranet resources.

“What we are really trying to do with this offering is bring together provisioning, enforcement and auditing together – those are the three building blocks for managing identities within an environment,” Mann said. “If you only do some of those or if you don’t do all three together, you don’t really have what we define and what the general marketplace or analysts define as having a comprehensive scope for managing identities.”

Mann said the call for the suite of products initially came from the 4,000 customers that use either one or a combination of CA’s identity management products, and that they were looking for integration between the offerings. He added that CA already offers a degree of integration and wanted to be able to integrate everything together to avoid complexity.

Customers can purchase an individual component, or they can purchase the entire suite. Because the offering is standards-based, customers can have the benefit of “picking and choosing what they want from CA with the existing technology they have already acquired from other vendors,” Mann said. The eTrust suite will integrate at the standards level.

CA also said the eTrust Identity and Access Management Suite will support on-demand environments as well as Web services and will leverage such standards as Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) to streamline access control regardless of the supporting infrastructure.

With endless competition in the identity management realm, Mann said CA’s advantage is that is has a higher degree of integration over the competition. Mann classifies its main competition into smaller players that include Waveset Technologies Inc. and Netegrity Inc. and the larger companies such as Novell Inc. and IBM Corp.

“What we’re doing here is defining what level of integration customers need,” he said.

The eTrust Admin costs US$1 per user a month and there is a per-server monthly fee of US$2,800 to license the admin product. Pricing for the other products and the suite will follow closer to the availability date. Computer Associates is on the Web at