Netegrity Adds Federated ID Mgmt. Support

SiteMinder 5.5 adds support for SAML spec and Microsoft's Passport identifty platform.

Netegrity Inc. on Monday released a new version of its flagship SiteMinder software, the first in a series of new releases the access-management vendor will announce in the next few weeks.

The biggest addition to SiteMinder with the 5.5 release is support for federated identity management, including the SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) specification and Microsoft Corp.s Passport identity platform. The new version also includes support for Kerberos.

The SAML support enables an administrator to map a users SiteMinder identity to a SAML-based identity. The software then creates a SAML assertion and delivers it to whichever Web sites the user specifies, enabling the user to exchange information securely with those sites. Similarly, SiteMinder allows users to sign in using their .Net Passport identities, which in turn logs them into all of the Passport-enabled enterprise applications and Web sites.

Netegrity executives said the decision to include Passport support in SiteMinder 5.5 was driven by the systems unique capabilities.

"It may not be an open standard, but its the only federated system out there right now," said Amit Jasuja, vice president of product marketing and product management at Netegrity in Waltham, Mass.

The company has also tweaked the softwares Apache support, enabling it to handle a larger number of simultaneous connections on the Web server. Previously, connections were tied directly to threads. That relationship has been broken, allowing for better handling of requests, Jasuja said.

There is also a new cookie API that enables developers to write custom agents to perform single sign-on with SiteMinder agents.

Netegrity, in the coming weeks, will announce new versions of its TransactionMinder and IdentityMinder product as well, rounding out the 5.5 release of its platform.

SiteMinder 5.5 is available immediately.

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