Higgins 1.0: Identity Management Solutions from the Eclipse Foundation
Higgins is built around the concept of information cards, which are simply visual representations of a digital identity. The various components of Higgins are centered around helping end users interact with information cards, as well as enabling developers to support identity cards as a form of authentication in their respective applications.
There are three components provided by Higgins for enabling information-card authentication:
- A GTK/Cocoa selector, which includes a Firefox extension to launch the selection interface when a website requests i-card authentication.
- An Eclipse RCP-based desktop application which supports integration with Internet Explorer 7 to prompt for i-card selection on website request.
- A distributed, embedded Firefox-plugin-based selector -Where-as the first two solutions provide a local registry and selection service for managing information cards, this solution is an early representation of using a remote server to act as a distributed card registry.
- STS IdP - An identity provider solution utilizing WS-Trust.
- SAML2 IdP -An identity provider solution utilizing SAML2
Third, it implements the Higgins Global Graph (HGG) data model and the Higgins Identity Attribute Service (IdAS). Developers now have a framework that provides an interoperability and portability abstraction layer over existing “silos” of identity data. For the first time, IdAS makes it possible to “mash-up” identity and social network data across highly heterogeneous data sources including directories, relational databases, and social networks.The HGG/IdAS layer of Higgins offers integration opportunities between several identification protocols such as OpenID, WS-Trust, SAML, and LDAP.
Higgins has received industry support from several companies that provide identity-management solutions including: IBM, Microsoft, and Novell.
Microsoft authored a similar technology to Higgins information cards with Windows CardSpace (initially released in 2006); Higgins identity selector solutions are compatible with CardSpace-enabled applications.
At the Eclipse project page, more information is available regarding Higgins identity solutions, and downloads are available for Higgins 1.0 solutions and components.
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