Vendors looking for identity protocol deal

Microsoft Corp. will participate in a meeting later this month with vendors and organizations that are backing several different identity management systems, an indication that co-operation between the software giant and its peers is improving.

The meeting, part of an initiative called the Concordia Project, strives to improve interoperability between Microsoft’s CardSpace and OpenID, two identity management systems, and protocols for identity management supported by an industry trade group, the Liberty Alliance, said Roger Sullivan, president of its management board.

Vendors will hear from companies such as General Motors Corp., The Boeing Co. and AOL LLC about how they’re trying to integrate various identity management systems into their operations, Sullivan said.

“Many of these protocols today are very geek-centric,” said Sullivan, who is also vice-president of Oracle Corp.’s identity management section. “They’re not very people-friendy.”

One issue is how vendors can use different authentication mechanisms in their operations. For example, a financial planning Web site could allow users to forecast how much their retirement fund may be worth in 30 years. Eventually, the user may want to buy a service from the financial planner and migrate that same data to an environment that uses stronger authentication.This means there would need to be more interoperability between the protocols used by Open

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