By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2003-10-20 Print this article Print

In the initial phase of the program, SPAWAR deployed NetPoint to handle SAML-enabled, single-sign-on authentication of 5,500 users aboard the battleship USS Teddy Roosevelt, enabling them to access applications that do everything from tracking parts to pinpointing the location of enemy vessels.

NetPoint handles the exchange of SAML security assertions between users on the ship and servers onshore, and it automatically logs users in to the Navy Enterprise Portal and its available applications.

The deployment of the project was successful enough that the Navy is planning to use NetPoint to provide single-sign-on capabilities to all 720,000 naval users and civilian contractors who access the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. Eventually, that number could reach as high as 3 million because all users associated with the Navy will be able to have their identity managed this way, Howell said.

To expand the use of single sign-on to a wider scale, SPAWAR is deploying Microsoft Corp.s Active Directory throughout the naval organization, and it will populate the directory so that all Navy users can be issued a global ID. Howell will also face technical problems for users who are afloat and have limited bandwidth and connectivity.

Approximately 10,000 users currently have single-sign-on capabilities. Howell said he would like to deploy single sign-on for the Navys entire continental U.S. user base during the next year. How quickly he might be able to do so will depend on funding.

"Right now, were providing this infrastructure that no one has had available prior to this," Howell said. "Its taken users time to migrate their legacy applications. But the migration speed has gone from a trickle to a faucet. Eventually, itll be a fire hose."

Case file

  • Company U.S. Navys Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command

  • Location San Diego

  • Challenge Web-enable all Navy applications by next year via the Navy Enterprise Portal; provide single-sign-on capabilities for the portal

  • Solution Use only open industry standards such as SAML to deploy a Web services environment; deploy Oblixs NetPoint for identity management and access control

  • Tools Oblixs NetPoint; Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Active Directory and SQL Server

  • Whats next Deploy the Navy Enterprise Portal to ships and onshore; provide user provisioning

    Source: eWEEK reporting

    Senior Writer Anne Chen can be contacted at anne_chen@ziffdavis.com.

    As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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