Both the Liberty Alliance and Microsoft's Passport service aim to provide online authentication services, which Sachar Paulus, SAP's director of product management for security, described as "federated identities".
Through the federated identities, online customers will have a mechanism for forwarding trusted identity information.
SAP has not officially decided to opt for either the Liberty Alliance or Passport. However, Paulus said companies involved in business-to-business exchanges would not want to yield control of corporate information assets to a third party, as would be required under the Microsoft plan.
Sun, on the other hand, takes a less centralised approach, Paulus said. Though, he added, SAP would have to support Microsoft's efforts in some way, because of Microsoft's strength in the front-end application market.
Microsoft has promised to consider handing over management of Passport to a third party group made up of its business rivals and corporate partners, and that it would open Passport up to work with competing services.