Agile Computing Authors: Kevin Benedict, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Jim Kaskade, Lori MacVittie

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WSO2 Introduces Industry’s First Enterprise Identity Bus With the Launch of WSO2 Identity Server 5.0

The dream of enterprise security based on one unifying identity has faded. It has been displaced by the reality of multiple identities in the era of the connected business where the cloud, mobile computing, and APIs are helping to extend processes to customers, partners, and other groups within the organization. Now, just as organizations have turned to the enterprise service bus (ESB) to connect their disparate systems, businesses are realizing the need for an enterprise identity bus (EIB) to connect and manage their various identities based on multiple standards. Today, WSO2 addresses this demand with the launch of WSO2 Identity Server 5.0, the industry’s first enterprise identity bus.

The latest release of the award-winning WSO2 Identity Server adds significant new capabilities for managing the many security standards now in use across enterprises, including:

  • Identity token transformation and mediation for seamless integration between internal applications and cloud apps, such as Salesforce, Google Apps, and Microsoft Office 365.
  • New user and group provisioning capabilities, which enable WSO2 Identity Server to translate and broker provisioning requests across a range of security, Web and cloud standards.
  • Multi-option and multi-step authentication to provide flexibility in selecting authentication options and enable robust multi-factor authentication.

“Through the cloud, mobile, APIs, social media, and Internet of Things, enterprises are creating new connections across employees, customers and partners—and introducing a dizzying array of standards for identifying these users,” said Paul Fremantle, WSO2 co-founder and CTO. “The release of our WSO2 Identity Server 5.0, the industry’s first enterprise identity bus, embraces this diversity by providing a central backbone for managing user identities, regardless of the standards on which they are based.”

Robust Identity Management On-premises and in the Cloud

Version 5.0 builds on the proven performance of WSO2 Identity Server 4.5, the enterprise-ready, 100% open source, lean, component-based software, which has been in production in Global 1000 enterprises since 2009.

WSO2 Identity Server enables enterprise architects and developers to improve the user’s experience by reducing identity provisioning time, guaranteeing secure online interactions, and delivering a reduced single sign-on (SSO) environment. It also decreases the burden of identity management and entitlement management by including role-based access control, attribute-based access control, fine-grain policy-based access control, and SSO bridging. Featuring full native multi-tenancy, WSO2 Identity Server can run on servers, in a private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud environment—all from the same software.

Support for System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) for identity provisioning facilitates user management operations across software as a service (SaaS) applications. Additionally, federated identity provider (IdP) functionality allows different organizations to make shared services available—for example different universities sharing certain resources with each other’s faculty or students—while enabling single sign-on simplicity for end users. Such federated IdP is particularly important for facilitating authentication across extremely large deployments associated with the cloud and platform as a service (PaaS).

“We have had great success implementing WSO2 Identity Server for user authentication as part of the solutions we’re delivering based on the WSO2 Carbon middleware platform and WSO2 Private PaaS,” said Kambiz Darabi, managing director at m-creations, a German IT consultancy dedicated to mobile IT. “We are excited about the new capabilities being launched with version 5.0, which address the challenges of linking together heterogeneous systems and the growing demand to integrate internal and cloud applications.”

“The SSO environment implemented with WSO2 Identity Server has fully met our expectations and is enabling us to realize the goals we set out for simplifying our user identity administration,” said Abdullah Al Tahhan, a senior project manager at ELM, a trusted provider of secure electronic services in Saudi Arabia. “We are quite pleased with WSO2’s technology, but more than anything, when we think of future engagements, we are going to think of WSO2 because of the great support.”

Introducing Enterprise Identity Bus Capabilities

WSO2 Identity Server 5.0 adds significant new functionality to facilitate identity management across multiple identity standards, devices, domains and applications—on-premises and in the cloud.

Identity token transformation and mediation – With version 5.0, WSO2 Identity Server is capable of performing transformation and mediation between any identity token, including Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0, OAuth 1.0/2.0, OpenID, OpenID Connect, and WS-Federation (passive).

Identity token transformation and mediation enables seamless integration between an enterprise’s internal applications running on servers or in a private PaaS and cloud applications, such as Salesforce, Google Apps, and Microsoft Office 365. Additionally, users can bring their own IDs to connect to enterprise systems. For example, Salesforce requires a SAML token for authentication, but a user may want to connect using OpenID. WSO2 Identity Server directs the user to any OpenID provider and translates the token to the correct SAML format for SalesForce to consume. SalesForce only needs to trust WSO2 Identity Server, which acts as a federation bus across all applications.

New user and group provisioning capabilities – WSO2 Identity Server 5.0 can be used to automatically provision users and groups of users onto various platforms. This provisioning can be explicit by pushing the user/group definition to the target system or just-in-time as the user logs in. Integrated with a federated identity provider, just-in-time provisioning enables a corresponding subject to be provisioned to its internal user store and any other provisioning system.

Through the provisioning bridge, WSO2 Identity Server 5.0 also can transform SCIM and SOAP-based provisioning requests into provisioning requests to other formats, such as Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) 2.0, Salesforce, Google Apps, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Active Directory, and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). In addition to these predefined connectors, which are available out of the box, the WSO2 Identity Server 5.0 runtime can work with custom provisioning connectors.

Multi-option and multi-step authentication – With WSO2 Identity Server 5.0, a service provider, irrespective of the protocol it supports, can select one or more login options that it wants to present to users, such as user name and password, Facebook, SAML or OpenID Connect. Additionally, the service provider can enforce multi-factor authentication by choosing multiple steps that align the right authenticators with the right step.

Additional New Features – WSO2 Identity Server 5.0 includes other new features to provide greater ease of use and facilitate user provisioning and management. With this latest release:

  • A Web-based dashboard for end users provides an intuitive, friendly alternative to the administration console for user management tasks, such as updating the user profile, associating social logins to the profile, changing the security challenge questions, resetting the password, managing an OpenID profile, and viewing identity providers.
  • Remote user store management makes it possible to manage heterogeneous user stores distributed across different data centers from a single WSO2 Identity Server node.

WSO2 Identity Server Builds on WSO2 Carbon Platform

WSO2 Identity Server is part of the modular, fully componentized OSGi-compliant WSO2 Carbon enterprise middleware platform. Like all WSO2 middleware products in the award-winning WSO2 Carbon platform, it is inherently cloud-enabled and uses proven core framework components that provide a consistent set of enterprise-class management, security, clustering, logging, statistics, tracing, and other capabilities. Additionally, it offers a graphical management console, which is integrated with other WSO2 middleware products, for configuration, management and monitoring. As a result, enterprises have unprecedented flexibility to enrich WSO2 Identity Server by adding any of the features in the WSO2 Carbon central repository, which are based on 175-plus components.

Availability and Support

WSO2 Identity Server 5.0 is available today as a software download that can run directly on servers or on top of WSO2 Private PaaS, and as a WSO2 Cloud Virtual Machine running on the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), Linux Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), and VMware ESX. Additionally, customers can choose to have WSO2 host WSO2 Identity Server through the WSO2 Managed Cloud service. As a fully open source solution released under the Apache License 2.0, it does not carry any licensing fees.

WSO2 Identity Server is backed by a world-class technical team in which the experts that helped create the software provide support, leading to direct and immediate access to the people with in-depth knowledge of the middleware. WSO2 service and support options include evaluation support, a special QuickStartSM consulting program, development support, and production support.

About WSO2

WSO2 delivers on the promise of the connected business with the only completely integrated enterprise platform that enables businesses to build, integrate and manage their APIs, applications, and Web services on-premises, in the cloud, and on mobile devices. Leading enterprise customers worldwide rely on WSO2’s award-winning 100% open source platform and its robust governance and DevOps functionality for their mission-critical applications. Today, these businesses represent nearly every sector: health, financial, retail, logistics, manufacturing, travel, technology, telecom and more. Visit http://wso2.com to learn more, or check out the WSO2 community on the WSO2 Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Trademarks and registered trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

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