Novell Lets Bandit Loose

Open source effort aims unify disparate silos of identity management and become an identity fabric for the Web.

Passwords, passwords passwords.

Managing your identity in the Internet of 2006 is a complex Web that requires multiple identities and passwords for multiple sites and services.

Enter the Bandit project.

This open source effort led by Novell aims to integrate disparate identity standards and projects in an effort to help create an identity system that spans the Internet. Tall order indeed.

"What we want to do is to provide a consistent identity fabric for interactions across the network," Dale Olds, distinguished engineer at Novell told "Similar to how the TCP stack and sockets interface and BIND DNS were foundational components for the Web, we're hoping to build in the identity fabric.

Formerly announced Monday, Bandit actually went live in February. Olds said it has been in a grassroots phase since then and is now looking for wider community involvement.

Bandit integrates a number of different initiatives and open standards to identity management. Among them is an implementation of the open source Higgins framework which is seen as an open source affront to Microsoft's InfoCard single sign initiative. Project Higgins is an effort in which Novell, IBM and other collaborate on an identity framework that enables users to integrate profile and identity information across disparate systems. Bandit calls its implementation of Higgins, "The Common Identity Service."

Olds explained that Novell both contributes to and uses Higgins, but there is more that Bandit will do.

"They [Higgins] are focused on identity abstraction where we are focused on what has traditionally been enterprise capabilities on top of identity," Olds said.

Other Bandit components include The Common Authentication Services Adapter (CASA), which enables interoperable authentication for sign-on systems, and the Role Engine service for role-based authorization. On the auditing side, the Audit Record Framework service will deliver a compliance API as well as open auditing of records from Bandit.

"One of the challenges we face is that this is yet another product, another standard that is somehow trying to vie for shelf space with all the other standards," Olds said. "I think that the challenge in that is to execute, build worthwhile components and show that we're trying to pull things together and not fragment them."

Bandit isn't necessarily going to unify all of the various identity standards and project either.

This article was first published on To read the full article, click here.

Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.