As digital identity technologies and projects proliferate, it has become increasingly difficult for both members of the various initiatives and the market as a whole to understand and manage their relationships. This has created confusion in the marketplace, caused a potential duplication of efforts, and slowed adoption of the technologies.
On the sidelines of the Harvard/Berkman Identity Mashup Conference June 19-21, 2006, (since updated) the leads of a number of initiatives discussed what could be done to not only remedy this situation, but to establish an organizational -- and as soon as possible, technical -- framework by which participating projects can synchronize their efforts, build around common software interfaces, and enable a marketplace of interoperable digital identity software and service components to emerge.
They have agreed as follows:
- They will establish the "OSIS" working group, which has existed informally for some period of time, as a working group under the reconstituted Identity Commons 2.0 organization. (Accomplished 2006-09-11, see ID Commons OSIS Charter)
- The OSIS working group will have a steering committee, which consists of representatives of significant stakeholders, both open-source projects and vendors. The initial members of the steering committee are listed below. The steering committee decides on the appointment of additional members; it will generally appoint new members who represent significant stakeholders.
- The OSIS working group will have a architecture committee, which consists of the project leads of open-source digital identity projects, one member per project.
- The OSIS working group will have a licensing and distribution committee, which consists of representatives of vendors and distributors of OSIS software.
- The OSIS working group is chartered:
- to establish architectural agreement on the key interfaces between the various open-source digital identity software and service components under development;
- to synchronize the projects in a manner that avoids unnecessary duplication of efforts and reduces the potential of forking;
- to assist in the assembly and quality assurance of distributions and products that use components from multiple projects;
- to track and resolve cross-project issues as they arise;
- to operate an electronic infrastructure (e.g. mailing lists, wikis, issue tracking systems etc.) to support this effort.
- This working group will be open to new participants who:
- publicly commit to the goal of internet-scale digital identity interoperability across projects, protocols, companies and platforms;
- publicly commit to the goal of enabling a pluralistic technology and business ecosystem for digital identity product and service components that compete on the merits rather than based on any one entity's control over a majority of the stack.
The members of the OSIS working group steering committee are listed at OSIS Steering Committee.
Further, there was agreement on the first substantive issue. Going forward,
- the Apache Heraldry project will focus its work on:
- relying party,
- light-weight identity provider, and
- STS for managed i-cards.
- the Eclipse Higgins project will focus its work on:
- client code, including an identity selector, and
- STS for self-issued i-cards.