In Novell Access Manager 3.1, Novell adds support for WS-Federation, an identity federation specification. Leveraging a collaboration with Microsoft, Novell with Access Manager 3.1 aims to streamline authentication for non-Windows directory users of Microsoft Web-based products such as Microsoft SharePoint.
has set its sights on giving non-Windows directory users single
sign-on access to Microsoft Web-based products.
With Novell Access Manager 3.1, Novell has added built-in support for
WS-Federation. Part of the larger Web Services Security framework,
WS-Federation is a set of interoperable access and authentication
standards used to allow disparate security realms to broker information on
identities, identity attributes and authentication.
By supporting WS-Federation and collaborating with Microsoft, Novell with
its Access Manager 3.1 enables IT security administrators to grant non-Windows
directory users single sign-on access to Microsoft Web-based products such as
Microsoft Office SharePoint.
"One of the differences with Access Manager and some of the other
products out there is that federation is an integral part of the product rather
than being a separate, for-charge add-on," said Lee Howarth, product
manager of identity and security at Novell.
According to Novell, in today's heterogeneous IT infrastructure, identity
information is often stored in multiple locations and application-specific
identity stores. The idea is to provide a simple way to federate identities
from any LDAP directory into a Microsoft infrastructure, preventing users from
having to spend hours syncing identity information between disparate identity
"Once that user is authenticated to one of those local stores ... what
Access Manager is able to do is transform that authentication then into claims
that can be used to control access SharePoint," Howarth said. "Why that's
important is that it removes the need to maintain all of the identities within
SharePoint's own identity stores."
Analyst Gerry Gebel of the Burton Group said large enterprises are often
confronted with the challenge of providing single sign-on across multiple
applications based on user information distributed among various directories.
"Technologies that support industry standards and
integrate Web access management, federation and other technologies are well
positioned to address enterprise requirements," Gebel said in a statement.