The Oracle identity and access management bundle is a shot at securing Web-based cloud environments better than Oracle rivals Sun, CA, IBM and Novell.
Oracle has bundled together a suite of access management
products in a bid to help enterprises secure their Web-based environments and to
challenge its main rivals in the space.
The new offering is called Oracle Access Management Suite, and combines
Oracle Access Manager, Adaptive Access Manager, Identity Federation and Entitlements
Server into one integrated suite, with each also being sold separately. The
plan, according to officials at Oracle, is to distance the company from
competitors by targeting Web-based architectures with a broad, integrated
collection of products.
"A large number of our customers ... use the Web as a channel to deliver
services to their communities, which could be consumers, partners, students and
employees," said Amit Jasuja, vice president of identity management at
Oracle. "For them security and the cost of delivering security is an
important concern. With the suite, we're offering our customers an integrated
approach that can lower the cost and complexity of the solution and deliver a
higher level of security."
The Web focus provides several key benefits, Jasuja explained, such as
real-time theft prevention through continuous session monitoring, the use of
single sign-on for all Web applications and standards-based cross-company
boundary single sign-on for partners that are Web-based service providers.
Of the four products, Oracle
Entitlements Server (PDF)
is the only new entry to the company's product lineup.
The product was acquired from BEA Systems, where it was called BEA AquaLogic
Enterprise Security. According to Oracle, Entitlements Server enables
application developers to externalize and centralize authorization
policies that previously would have been embedded within applications. The
product supports a number of environments, including Oracle WebLogic Server,
Microsoft .NET Framework and IBM
WebSphere Application Server.
"What this set of products does provide early indication of is how
access decisions are going to move away from being based solely on static
account privileges within applications," said Forrester Research analyst
Jonathan Penn. "These decisions will move to a more centralized
environment-the entitlements management system-where real-time data regarding
user context and other information will contribute to the decision-making."
Challenge to Competition
In tying all these products together, Oracle is issuing a challenge to its
main competitors in the identity and access management space, which include Sun
IBM, CA and Novell. Jasuja contends that none
of the other companies can offer as broad a product suite as Oracle. However,
CA, for example, has made a push around Web access management with its Secure
Web Business Enablement suite through products such as CA SiteMinder Web Access
Manager, which includes Web SSO (single sign-on) and entitlements management.
"From a marketing and customer acquisition perspective, [Oracle has]
moved aggressively against Sun and IBM,"
said Gartner analyst Earl Perkins. "I don't know that these particular
capabilities are differentiating enough, but it does expand their portfolio
into areas that Sun and IBM haven't
Oracle's move comes as analysts continue to predict the growth of
the identity and access management market, which according to estimates
from Forrester Research should hit $12.3 billion by 2014. Enterprises, Perkins
said, are seeking a means of addressing complex federation requirements as
they delve further into the Web and its services.
"The fine-grained entitlements server is a
significant step in addressing a common approach to externalizing authorization
decisions from applications rather than embedding them as most enterprise apps
do," Perkins said. "This is a required step in preparing for SOA [service-oriented
architecture] secure access going forward."