HP pumps up ID suite

Hewlett-Packard this week upgraded three applications in its identity and access management suite with capabilities that the company says will help users set specific privacy guidelines and better integrate multiple identities across disparate systems.

At the Burton Group Catalyst Conference this week, HP upgraded its OpenView software applications Select Federation, Select Identity and Select Access. Select Federation is a gateway server that lets users share identities with business partners using standards-based protocols. The company last year struck a deal to license the technology from Trustgenix, which develops identity software that validates user credentials on one partner network to be used for access to services on another.

HP’s identity-management lineup also includes Select Identity, provisioning software that it acquired when it bought Trulogica in March 2004 and Select Access, Web access management software it acquired from Baltimore Technologies in 2003.

The company last week not only upgraded each application with automation and reporting features, and additional standards support, but it also increased the integration among the applications.

“The whole concept of managing identities is a process, and being able to weave together different process delivery mechanisms such as an access management system and provisioning tools can help IT managers better align their identity management systems with their business process workflows,” says Earl Perkins, a vice president covering security and privacy at research firm Gartner. “The integration would provide customers with a process that demands controls be applied.”

The upgrades, Perkins says, will also enable HP to deliver better identity and access management controls to customers and better compete with EMC, IBM, Novell and Sun. He says HP products should be able to better compete with the likes of IBM and Sun now that the company has upgraded each application and more standards support, specifically adding Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 and the Liberty Alliance Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF) 1.1. For instance, support for ID-WSF 1.1 indicates that a vendor’s software can interoperate with other third-party software to ensure identity-management rules and policies can be enforced across loosely coupled applications, or Web services.

Select Federation 6.5 now includes a feature that lets companies offer customers a way to set specific privacy controls on their own information. The software would provide end users with a wizard or template with which they could set rules on a per-attribute basis. For instance, a customer may allow one of its service providers to have access to credit card information, while restricting another service provider to accessing only name and address data.

HP also added support Select Identity 3.3, which lets IT managers provide more self-service capabilities to end users and tools to make searching and browsing thousands of identities more manageable. The improved self-service and registration features offer end users configurable scheduling of requests and the ability to perform self-service actions such as gain access to a specific application. The company says the features minimize the workload for IT managers and empower users to fulfill some of their own requests.

Lastly, Select Access 6.1 now integrates with Citrix Password Manager, which the company says would enable customers to track audit log information in the HP OpenView server for compliance reporting.

Select Federation 6.5 is in beta now, with expected general availability in the fourth quarter. Select Identity 3.3 and Select Access 6.1 are available now.

Select Federation starts at US$25 per federated partner or application for the enterprise edition. Discount pricing is available for large user volumes.

Select Identity starts at $39.75 per user, and Select Access starts at $6.75 per user. Discount pricing is available for large user volumes.

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