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01 October 2008, 14:11

Sun launches open source OpenSSO Enterprise

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Sun Microsystems has launched OpenSSO Enterprise, the replacement for its previous single sign-on offering, Sun Java System Access Manager 7.0. OpenSSO Enterprise incorporates not only identity and access management, but federation and secure web services. The OpenSSO project, which was based on the open source release of Java Access Manager 7.0, is available under the OSI-listed CDDL licence with OpenSSO Enterprise using the project's code.

Sun has adopted a new business model for the commercial OpenSSO Enterprise, which allows users to follow a "enterprise" track, where there is a new release every 12 months, with Sun support, hot fixes and updates to later versions, or a more "express" track, where there are new releases every 3 months and Sun support, but no hot fixes and updates will require the user moving to a new express release. Open source OpenSSO users will rely on the community for support. Sun is attempting to bridge the gap between the fast moving community and enterprise support with the availability of support on the "express" edition. Felix Gaehtgens, of analysts Kuppinger Cole, said of the move, "With some sarcasm, many IT professional note that "Express" is a synonym for "limited" and "Enterprise" is a synonym for "Expensive". Sun will have to educate its customers that this is certainly not the case for OpenSSO."

OpenSSO is much improved from the last Access Manager release. OpenDS is embedded in the platform to provide directory services, so a separate directory server is not essential. Federation allows enterprises to share information, organised in a hub and spoke architecture; a process simplified by the use of Fedlet packages which can be sent to a federating partner to load into their access management system.

Sun took an unconventional route in launching OpenSSO; the launch took place in the Second Life virtual world – a replay of the event is available.


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