Identity management products, once sold as stand-alone tools by relatively small pure-play companies, are increasingly being integrated into the product lines of major systems vendors.
Underscoring that trend were separate announcements this week by Oracle Corp., IBM Corp. and Computer Associates International Inc., each of which featured products from earlier acquisitions in the identity management market.
Oracle on Monday released a new version of its Identity Management suite featuring technology derived from its March purchase of Oblix Inc.
The new release supports enhanced access management for IBM Websphere and BEA Inc. Weblogic portal server environments. The upgraded product also offers application provisioning support in Oracle Internet Directory environments as well as for Microsoft Corp."s Active Directory and Microsoft Identity Integration Server.
The enhancements demonstrate Oracle"s commitment to integrating Oblix technology with its own identity management tools as soon as possible, said Amit Jasuja, the company"s vice president of product management. "An equally important aspect is that this highlights that Oracle continues to be committed to heterogeneity and support for broader enterprise platforms," Jasuja said.
Meanwhile, IBM"s new Tivoli Identity Manager Version 4.6, which was also released this week, is based on technology from its purchase of Access360 Inc. more than two years ago. The upgraded software is designed to make it easier and quicker for companies to provision and manage user accounts and access to applications, said Steve Henning, manager of integrated identity management solutions at IBM.
The software, for instance, supports a policy simulation feature that allows administrators to run "what-if" scenarios to better understand the effects of policy changes before they are actually implemented, Henning said. "It makes the evaluation of policy changes much less time-consuming than before," he said.
IBM also announced a partnership with Viisage Inc. under which the company will deliver a user identification, enrollment and authentication service based on Viisage"s biometric technologies.
As for CA, its new eTrust Identity and Access Management Toolkit is aimed at application developers. The kit allows them to add identity-based security functions such as authentication and authorization to applications as they are developed, CA said in a statement. The standardization enabled by the tool kit will also make it easier to centrally manage identities and application access.
The trend by big vendors to acquire, integrate and deliver full-fledged identity management suites is a good thing for users, said Phil Shacter, an analyst at Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group. "The net effect is less integration work and lower cost of ownership" compared to best-of-breed products, he said.