Well for the longest time I have resisted the temptation to leap into the blogging arena, but no more, the question is answered. My name is Steven Woodward and I am a Technical Evangelist in the Windows Server evangelism team here in Redmond. Within the team I am one of the evangelists who covers Identity and Access Management (the others being Vittorio Bertocci, Donovan Follette and Nigel Watling). For the last year I have been working on The Identity Metasystem and InfoCard now called Windows CardSpace™ (which keeps the marketing folks happy but I’m just going to call it CardSpace), during which time I have presented to and met with many in the industry to discuss our vision for how to improve user authentication and identification. During that time I have also had the honor to work with Kim Cameron, the man behind the vision, whose desire for openness and inclusion with respect to the Identity Metasystem has driven much of the industry momentum we see now.
I’ve learned a lot over the last year about how people plan to use this technology, other projects that are being worked on in parallel both within Microsoft and in the rest of the industry, and I’m going to use this as the place to share my thoughts and get feedback from you on where we are heading.
For those not familiar with The Identity Metasystem or CardSpace here are two simple explanations of what they are and how they relate.
The Identity Metasystem is a mechanism for using a subset of the WS-* protocols to publish the security policy of a web site or service, exchange this information with a user and retrieve security credentials that match those policies from an identity provider.
CardSpace is the Windows client component of the Identity Metasystem which presents those security credentials to the user in a friendly, easy to understand user interface, aka an Identity Selector.
Since all of the WS-* protocols are released publicly there are many other initiatives, other than Microsoft’s, working on to develop interoperable solutions, there are also other initiatives to develop Identity Selector’s for other platforms, look for more on these in the coming weeks.
You can find out even more information by going over to our newly created community site that covers all of the NetFX 3.0 technologies (WCF, WF, WPF and CardSpace). There you will find links to whitepapers, samples and guides on how to get started.