Information Card breakthrough with Novell Access Manager 3.1

There have been a number of articles in the press over past few weeks about the release of Novell’s Access Manager 3.1. The articles by John Fontana at NetworkWorld and by Sean Michael Kerner at are well worth reading. Both articles mention new features in the product, it’s interoperability with Microsoft products via open standards, and (my favorite) how code from the Bandit project relates to the product.

Yesterday, Dave Kearns posted his comments about Novell Access Manager 3.1 from his popular newsletter. Some excerpts:

The real breakthrough for me, at least in terms of Microsoft services, was Novell’s inclusion of Windows CardSpace as an authentication type for its multifactor authentication. Novell, through its sponsorship of the Bandit Project, has been in the forefront of information card technology, and this release of Access Manager makes it easy for identity technology managers to add this factor to their risk-based authentication schemes.

This may well be the first CardSpace implementation in a business-focused product by a non-Microsoft vendor. Now that is “ground breaking”.

A solid enterprise product, supported by a leading IAM vendor, and implementing open standards in conjunction with open source implementations — this does seem to me to be another significant step in moving to new-paradigm identity systems.

What are the next steps for 2009?