CardSpace Gaining Favor

New reference application designed to enable multi-platform, multi-protocol open source identity services announced.

Two open source identity-services projects are set to announce a jointly produced reference application designed to enable multi-platform, multi-protocol open source identity services.

The Higgins Trust Framework Project, sponsored by The Eclipse Foundation, and the Bandit Project, sponsored by Novell Inc., are both seeking to provide a consistent approach to managing digital ID information, regardless of the underlying technology.

Based on working code from the two projects and the larger community of open source developers, the reference application features interoperability with leading platforms and protocols including Microsoft's Windows CardSpace identity management system and Liberty Alliance-enabled products.

The reference app leverages the information card metaphor, explains Dale Olds, Bandit project leader, which allows an individual to use different digital identity "I-Cards" to gain access to online sites and services. This is the metaphor used in the Window's CardSpace identity management system that ships with the Vista operating system.

"Higgins comes from a consumer-centric ID space," Olds says, "while Bandit comes from a more enterprise ID-management space. But the two worlds are blurring rapidly. The firewall is dissolving, you might say, and we need to give people the ability to make intuitive choices -- convenient, but clear choices -- about their ID information. And the card metaphor is particularly useful for that."

The new implementations indicate that Microsoft's CardSpace platform is gaining traction in the development community.

"Windows CardSpace is an implementation of Microsoft's vision of an identity metasystem, which we have promoted as a model for identity interoperability," says Kim Cameron, architect for identity and access at Microsoft. "It's rewarding to see the Bandit and Higgins projects, as well as the larger open source community, embracing this concept and delivering on the promise of identity interoperability."

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at

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