Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) announced a new initiative around support for OpenID, a decentralized, web-friendly single sign-on mechanism that allows consumers to reuse a single login across different websites. Through this initiative, Sun will explore the changes needed to make OpenID applicable to a broader spectrum of business and technical challenges.
This initiative is designed to aid in solving the proliferation of login challenges and expand OpenID beyond low-risk transactions such as blog comments. As part of this program, Sun will invite participation from customers and technology partners interested in combining and converging OpenID with enterprise-ready technologies like SAML and Liberty Alliance's Identity Web Services Framework.
"We're excited about finding ways to augment the use of OpenID with technologies that meet web users' needs for autonomy and convenience while making it easy to meet stringent security and privacy obligations," said Jim McHugh, vice president of software infrastructure marketing, Sun Microsystems. "Sun has been participating actively in the community dialogue around OpenID and related technologies, and sees great potential for OpenID's use alongside enterprise-ready software infrastructure."
In order to explore the boundaries of OpenID as a trust system, Sun is offering an OpenID Provider service to its 34,000 employees. Using Sun-based OpenID identifiers at an OpenID-accepting website can convey in this simple and secure manner that the user is a Sun employee, a piece of information that can enable access to employee discounts and unlock other special services all across the web. Sun will work with partners to extend special services on this basis.
The Sun OpenID Provider is built using OpenSSO, the open-source project that is providing the basis for the Sun Java System Access Manager and Sun Java Federation Manager products, as well as OpenDS, the open-source project that is providing Sun's next-generation directory services. Both of these projects now include OpenID extensions.
Sun will also determine how to OpenID-enable its own websites in an appropriate manner, as well as how best to add valuable OpenID support to additional products and platforms, such as the Sun Web Developer Pack.
To obtain more information on Sun's OpenID initiative, please visit http://developers.sun.com/identity.
For more information about Sun's Identity Management offerings, please visit http://www.sun.com/identity.