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Liz McMillan

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XML Gateway: News Item

SOA Appliance for Cloud Computing

Organizations with SOA implementatons can extend to a cloud model much more securely and efficiently

Cloud Expo on Ulitzer

Forum Systems unveiled a first-of-its-kind identity broker hardware appliance, Forum STS.

Web services-based Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) enable communication via ubiquitous standards such as XML and SOAP. To foster efficient, effective message exchange and satisfy increasing user demands for real-time, aggregated information from internal and external business partners, trust must be established among all entities. Comprehensive mediation, authentication, and authorization of identity exchange among customer and partner portals, Web applications, and XML-based Web services provide the business with a simplified, coherent model for identity management and build the pillars of Federated SOA.

Addressing these requirements, Forum STS produces and consumes identity tokens in varying protocol and message formats. Performing identity translation from one format to another, Forum STS allows authentication and authorization enforcement, controlling privileges to services without requiring custom code. De-coupling the developers from the identity decisions is the first step toward recognizing a more powerful and simplified model for identity management across the enterprise. Forum STS provides a unified, easy-to-deploy platform that seamlessly integrates with multiple, disparate Identity Management products, allowing enterprises to capitalize on their existing infrastructure investments and utilize base standards such as WS-Trust and SAML.

“Federated SOA – a prerequisite for cloud computing – is predicated on interoperability within and across corporate domains. But mandating identity token standardization among trading partners is impractical from both a business and technology standpoint,” said John Woolbright, CIO of Omega Financial Services. “By securing and accelerating identity exchange locally and globally, Forum STS helps provide a unified, rich portal experience for our customers, while laying the foundation for true Federated SOA.”

“By implementing Federated SOA with trusted business units and external trading partners, enterprises can establish an effective cloud computing infrastructure that is technologically mature – overcoming the legal and compliance barriers related to information integrity and privacy,” said Mamoon Yunus, CEO of Crosscheck Networks. “This means that organizations can extend to a cloud model much more securely and efficiently.”

According to Daniel Sholler, Research VP, Gartner, “In large organizations with semiautonomous business units, subsidiaries and external partners, a ‘federated’ approach to SOA is the most effective for overcoming political, organizational and technical hurdles.” Sholler continued: “Integration competency will depend on the ability to federate with external agencies that use all types of information and processes.”1

“DMZ-ready” for organizations that require secure, accelerated and consolidated identity enforcement of both internal and external users, and applications, Forum STS delivers the following benefits:

  • Centralized Authentication, Authorization and Access Control Identity token translation (Cookies, Basic Auth, SSL, SAML, WS-Identity) and deep, direct integration with all major Identity Systems including CA Siteminder, IBM TAM, RSA ClearTrust, Oracle Access Manager, Sun JSAM, HP SelectAccess, Kerberos KDC, ActiveDirectory and LDAP.
  • High Performance and Scalability Hardware acceleration and caching mechanisms eliminate performance bottlenecks and reduce the costs associated with increasing transactions as the number of users and applications scale.
  • Enhanced Security Built on a JITC DoD PKI-, FIPS 140-2 Level-II infrastructure, Forum STS is ideally suited for edge deployments where external partners require identity decisions.
  • Simplified Token Exchange – Forum STS consumes and generates protocol- and message-based Identity Tokens, eliminating the need to code against proprietary libraries by leveraging token exchange standards such as WS-Trust and SAML.

Forum Systems continues its commitment to providing solutions for achieving SOA Federation. Last month, the company announced the latest version of its flagship Forum Sentry XML Gateway. Empowering more secure, efficient and seamless information exchange among back-office applications, Web services and customer and partner portals – the hallmarks of SOA Federation – Forum Sentry offers users more control of their Web interactions.

In May 2009, Crosscheck Networks acquired Forum Systems to provide an industry-first, comprehensive Web services “lifecycle” product suite. The companies’ products can be deployed together or seamlessly integrated with organizations’ existing infrastructure. In addition to Forum Sentry, the enterprise-class suite comprises:

  • SOAPSimulator – An affordable, easy-to-configure, comprehensive service simulation product for developers and testers, SOAPSimulator enables Web services to significantly reduce project expense and duration by allowing parallel development of the client and service components of a SOAP- or XML-based Web service.
  • SOAPSonar – Provides modes for functional, multi-client performance, compliance and security testing of SOAP-, XML- and REST-based services. Notably, SOAPSonar offers enterprises the unique ability to test functional and performance characteristics of unlimited-sized Web services attachments via streaming of structured and unstructured data based on industry standards such as MTOM and MIME. And with support for WS-Trust, SAML 2.0 and WS-identity tokens, SOAPSonar ensures a best-practices approach to Federated Identity Management.

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