Trustgenix takes aim at ID management complexity
IdentityBridge Standard paves the way toward simple federated identity for the edgeFollow @pvenezia
Federated identity isn’t just a good idea, it’s the Way It Should Be, according to anyone working with a sizable extranet. The need for partners and edge sites to retain control over their local directories -- coupled with the need to provide centralized applications -- is quickly losing the obvious catch-22.
Deploying federated identity solutions to edge sites within an organization or to franchise partners has been possible for some time. The actual deployment, however, can take substantial time and money due to varying edge-site configurations, lack of suitable skills, and the relative complexity of most federated identity solutions.
Trustgenix IdentityBridge Standard Edition takes care of that complexity by focusing on the edges of a federated-identity deployment. Trustgenix isn’t reinventing the wheel with this release, but it has definitely lowered the profile.
At its simplest, IdentityBridge Standard Edition is a GUI installer that accurately configures a site as an IDP (identity provider) and creates a URL that is then included on an intranet site to access the application residing at the SP (service provider). The whole installation is completed via a wizard that requires only a few clicks and basic information; it might take a few minutes on the phone to walk a neophyte through the installation from start to finish.
IdentityBridge is a wrapper around Trustgenix’s larger IdentityBridge Enterprise Edition, with many features removed. For instance, you cannot use IdentityBridge Standard Edition as an SP because it does not provide for inbound authentication.
So, in practice IdentityBridge Standard Edition provides only one side of the equation. That’s quite all right, however, because the vast majority of federated identity deployments find themselves with one hub and many spokes.
The fact that IdentityBridge Standard Edition is relatively crippled doesn’t mean it can’t be configured beyond the simple point-and-click installer. The installation can be modified through a Web-based administration interface. You can then configure custom assertions to be passed to the SP, construct custom URLs to be placed on an intranet site, and so forth.
In the lab, I built a new Windows 2003 Server and a Windows 2000 Server, each configured as an Active Directory domain controller for a unique forest. I also installed IIS on both. For my purposes, Trustgenix provided me with a log-in to a lab server at its facility that was running Trustgenix IdentityBridge Enterprise Edition, so I was able to drive both sides of the partnership.
I created a few test users in each domain and began installing IdentityBridge. The installation went through on both platforms with little hassle, although at the end of the process there can be significant pauses during local database initialization. This step took more than 5 minutes in the lab but is highly dependent on local server resources.
After I installed the application, a browser window appeared, pointing to the local administration page. IdentityBridge is written wholly in Java, and the Web interface is no exception. The installation places a local copy of Tomcat on the server to drive the JSP administration pages.