Sun readies Liberty Alliance offering

Sun Microsystems plans to offer technology based on the Liberty Alliance network identity specification this summer, Sun...

Sun Microsystems plans to offer technology based on the Liberty Alliance network identity specification this summer, Sun officials announced yesterday.

Sun hopes to ship product at the same time or shortly after the specification is released, said Bill Smith, Sun director of Liberty Alliance Technology, during a session at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in California.

Sun officials would not comment on the specifics of any product offerings planned.

The Liberty Alliance is an industry organisation formed in October 2001 to develop a federated, single sign-on system for e-commerce.

The Internet-based technology would enable users to log in once and be authenticated to a variety of network devices supporting the Liberty standard. Users would be able to access Web sites as well as network services.

The first phase of the specification will focus on enabling businesses to co-operate by mutually recognising authentication across service offerings, according to a spokesperson for Liberty Alliance.

As an example, a customer account at an airline compliant with the specification would in turn be recognised at a compliant rental car company.

A second phase of the specification is due by the end of the year, although no details were given.

In addition to Sun, other Liberty Alliance members include General Motors, United Airlines, American Express and Nokia.

SAP has expressed an interest in joining the organisation, which has more than 40 members.

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