XML for e-Provisioning

Business Layers, Netegrity Partner to demonstrate Services Provisioning Markup Language

San Francisco — April 14, 2003 — e-Provisioning specialist Business Layers is partnering with Netegrity, a provider of identity and access management solutions, to demonstrate what the two companies are calling the industry's first XML-based solution for identity management.

Business Layers, which is responsible for submitting the original provisioning specification to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information (OASIS), says it is working with Netegrity to drive the development of the Services Provisioning Markup Language (SPML).

SPML is intended to provide the enterprise with the first XML specification designed to leverage the reuse of Web services to achieve secure, federated user resource allocation to maximize existing technology resources, reduce administrative costs and enhance security.

The partners will demonstrate what they said is the industry's first identity management solution using the current SPML specification, with Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Security Assertions Markup Language (SAML), which will allow companies to securely leverage Web services to automate, centralize and manage the process of provisioning user access to internal and external corporate systems and data.

Led by Business Layers' Gavenraj Sodhi and Netegrity's Amit Jasuja, the presentation at the RSA User Conference in San Francisco today is designed to illustrate how SPML could allow businesses, via a common language, to more securely manage the identity lifecycle of a user, including the dynamic allocation of their associated resources, across a trusted boundary.

"One of the biggest obstacles impeding the rapid adoption of Web services technologies is the enterprise's concern about the security holes that exist when sharing sensitive information in an open IT environment," said Pete Lindstrom, research director of Spire Security. "Business Layers and Netegrity are addressing this issue head-on with an interoperable SPML/SAML environment, offering users an open standard in which businesses can leverage Web services to achieve secure, federated resource provisioning with their trusted business partners."

Today's SPML demonstration will address the challenges associated with complex resource provisioning for inter-organizational business transactions. As businesses move towards service-oriented architectures, internal and external users require secure access to applications and corporate systems that often contain sensitive data. To illustrate SPML in this setting, Netegrity and Business Layers will provide real-world examples of Web services-enabled identity management and provisioning scenarios.

For example, a large manufacturing company may work with several suppliers and business partners to provide a complete set of product lines. To help ensure that its supply chain is managed most effectively, the manufacturer must grant each set of users — employees, customers and partners — the appropriate access to information and applications. Using SPML, the manufacturer is able to automatically register, authenticate and accommodate the provisioned information requests in a secure environment to protect each of these business relationships. This standards-based offering utilizes the SPML specification in conjunction with Web services technologies to create a secure, dynamic workflow.

Amit Jasuja, who is vice president of product management at Netegrity, said SPML enables companies to more efficiently and securely automate the provisioning of IT systems and interoperate with disparate provisioning installations across multiple departments and organizations. "In conjunction with other standards, such as SAML, companies now have a standard approach to enabling secure, federated identity management," Jasuja said.

The Services Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) is being defined by the OASIS Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC).

For more information on e-provisioning, see "The World of Resource Provisioning," the Net Best Thing column in the November 2001 issue of iSource Business.