Web Services Gets Boost From Liberty|
Liberty Alliance, the consortium for open federated identity standards and identity-based Web services, has released interface specifications that support contact book, geo-location and presence Web services. Deployable on Liberty's Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF), these specifications offer new application functionality to enterprises and service providers, as well as privacy, personalization and security benefits to users.
Liberty Alliance officials say ID-WSF provides a blueprint for companies to extend their architectures to a federated Web-services model, allowing trusted partners, customers and suppliers to access key resources and information across corporate boundaries and enabling the delivery of more personalized services that have the necessary security and privacy requirements. The contact-book service interface is a common method for users to manage and share personal or business contacts, enabling service providers to access or automatically update information, like billing or shipping addresses. The geo-location-service interface is an interoperable way to automatically identify a person's location to provide services like weather, news, travel, currency updates or directions. The presence service interface lets users share availability information, such as whether they are online, on the phone or in a meeting. The three service interfaces are designed to function individually or in a seamless, unified fashion. As with ID Personal Profile and ID Employee Profile, previously released service interfaces, each enhances user control of invoked Web services in a privacy-respecting manner.
The interface standards are seen as "an important step in helping organizations deploy more secure and functional Web services," according to Ray Wagner, vice president of Gartner Research. "[They] allow service providers to offer users more options for managing identity information within a secure framework."
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