I applaud Sun's entry into the OpenID space. However, I disagree with some that this will lead to technological convergence. The existing meta-systems are too entrenched in their existing deployments to change to something new. Some believe that convergence will come through domination of a single protocol, but I have a hard time excepting that. So that leaves determining how to interoperate between the different identity meta-systems.
I don't think this is unsolvable but it will likely NOT be simple. There are issues with token exchange, token transformation, provider discovery, etc. With a number of good choices for back-channel web services (WS-*, ID-WSF), front-channel communication (OpenID, SAML, Cardspace, WS-Fed, ID-WSF, ...), and SSO (OpenID, SAML, Cardspace, WS-Fed, ID-WSF, ...) it seems the time has come for the industry to slow down the spec development work and instead focus on seamless interoperability.
Here are some starting use cases...
- User uses Cardspace to authenticate to a picture services that uses ID-WSF with it's billing partner(s)
- User authenticates with her college library using SAML and then wants to SSO into zooomr.com
- User users OpenID to sign in to their favorite hiking site which wants to display their buddy list as part of the site experience
Tags: Convergence, Interoperability, OpenID, SAML, ID-WSF