Web services allow businesses and business applications to use open technology standards including XML and Soap (Simple Object Access Protocol) to communicate with each other and with customers over corporate intranets or the internet.
The new standards make it possible to link user accounts at two or more separate organisations, allowing information to be exchanged in a web services transaction, or in the sharing of billing data or shipping information.
For example, an online retailer could generate a shipping request and a transport company could send delivery details to the purchaser's mobile device.
Mobile phone network operator Vodafone plans to use Liberty Alliance standards in its intranet and commercial service platforms from next year, and Sun said a new version of the Java System Identity Server, due out in early 2004, would support Phase 2 specifications.
Formerly known as Sun One Identity Server, the Java System Identity Server integrates features such as directory services, access management, user management, single sign-on and user self-service, in addition to federated identity using the Liberty Alliance Phase 2 specifications.
The Liberty Alliance is competing against rival standards. IBM and Microsoft published their own identity management framework, Web Services Federation Language, in July.