13 March 2002 Sun’s long-promised alternative to Microsoft’s Passport authentication service is set to ship on 19 March.
The Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Platform for Network Identity will enable companies to authenticate users and authorise their access to particular services via a single sign-on. The system will also be able to set access privileges for applications, services and other resources, according to Sun’s chief strategy officer, Jonathan Schwartz.
Sun ONE will be competing against other directory and authentication services offerings, including Microsoft’s Active Directory and Passport system. Sun is also one of the founder members of Liberty Alliance, a group of companies developing a common authentication service system as an alternative to Passport.
Future versions of Sun ONE will incorporate authentication technology from Liberty. However, Liberty has so far failed to produce any technology of its own, although the alliance has promised that specifications will be available by the Summer.
The platform will ship in editions intended for enterprises and for web service providers and is built on Sun Fire UltraSparc III servers and the iPlanet web server. Sun claims the Internet Edition will be able to manage 250,000 online identities, while the Enterprise Edition will scale to 10,000 identities.