Oracle Extends Reach of ID Management

Oracle eyes cross-platform support for its OIM identity management offering.

As it organizations deploy varied flavors of provisioning and authorization software, Oracle Corp. is trying to enable its identity management offering to co-exist with non-Oracle platforms.

The company last week said it is integrating its OIM (Oracle Identity Management) infrastructure with security software from Netegrity Inc., Entrust Inc. and Thor Technologies Inc.

The move will give Oracle customers more flexibility and more plug-in options to orchestrate authentication, single sign-on and security provisioning functions across heterogeneous environments and third-party applications, said Bill Maimone, vice president of server technology platforms at the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.

Spreading its support wings further, Oracle plans to extend OIM support to Novell Inc.s eDirectory and open LDAP in six to nine months, Maimone noted.

OIM is composed of the Oracle Internet Directory and takes advantage of multiple features and services of the Oracle Application Server 10g, including directory integration, delegated administration, single sign-on and user provisioning capabilities tied to other applications and systems.

According to one IT manager, the value of a platform-agnostic approach to running a successful identity management operation cannot be understated.

"Simplified administration is the goal where you have many different systems and databases and must be able to pull, push and extract information," said Dan Lantz, assistant director, microcomputer and network services for Joliet Junior College, in Illinois. "We dont want to have to input the data twice or [put it] into different systems."

According to industry experts, large-scale vendors such as Oracle, IBM and BEA Systems Inc. are forced to offer customers a more well-rounded and integration-friendly ID management infrastructure.

"Most organizations looking at a decision about user provisioning, extranet access, single sign-on or strong authentication [are] saying, What is my environment?" said analyst Ray Wagner, of Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn. "I dont think anyone is going to run out and buy an Oracle security platform for an enterprise where theyre not using Oracle."

Smaller niche identity management players are also looking for new ways to reduce platform obstacles and corresponding provisioning burdens.

For instance, MaXware International AS will release next month a still-unnamed password sync module for its recently introduced ExpresSync data synchronization tool. The module will add the capability to use Microsoft Corp.s Active Directory as an authoritative source for password reset and distribute it to applications or repositories, said officials in Trondheim, Norway.