Times are changing, and people have to change with it. Doh – another pearl of obvious wisdom, but there is an interesting application to the work life: while regular employment might change rather abruptly, business and community relationships usually do not. So while you might no longer be working for a particular company (say, Sun, for example), you would still be interested in continuing your work in a particular area of interest (say, identity, for example).
In this spirit, I decided to join the Liberty Alliance as an individual member. The new structure of the organization, combined with a reasonable fee schedule allows me to continue my formal relationship with one of the more comprehensive identity consortia currently in existence. While I have not yet quite made up my mind on how this engagement will be, I know that there are a number of current project in TEG and IAEG that stir my interest.
One of the most interesting developments in Liberty right now is the realization that a RESTful approach is quite necessary to extend from an enterprise-centric identity management system to one that can scale up to the needs of health care providers and governments. The need for a lightweight IdM and federation framework is indisputable, and the GSA and Internet2 have already demonstrated that the existing feature set in SAML2 is sufficient to build a meaningful federation. However, it will take the legal and business rules framework of the IAF and related efforts to extend these technologies into the realm of social networking and eGovernment where you cannot rely on having a mutual trusted partner in identity.
So, going forward, it will be a lot of fun to dabble with the same technology, only now from a slightly (or not so slightly) different angle.