Go From Sun To Microsoft With One Login

    May 17, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A year after the two tech companies signed a ten-year agreement to jointly develop software, they have announced gains in single sign-on technology.

Computer system users frequently have to juggle several login names and passwords to gain access to various services. Recently, Microsoft and Sun discussed their work toward making this process a little easier.

Called single sign-on (SSO), a user would login to his system, where a security token would be generated behind the scenes. As the user navigates from one system, which might be in a Microsoft domain, to another in a Sun domain, that token would be recognized by the new domain and allow the user to work with services there automatically.

The development by the two software companies would recognize other aspects of the user’s security token besides a valid login credential. If the user should have certain higher functions available on each system, such as a manager generating particular reports, that elevated access will be available on each system.

Getting Microsoft and Sun’s engineers to work together proved difficult. Six months into the agreement, both sides were finally comfortable with what they could discuss with the other side, and where they should focus their development efforts.

Once that obstacle was overcome, developers found they had significant freedom to create solutions without jeopardizing either side’s competitive advantages. In a joint discussion, Sun CEO Scott McNealy and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer emphasized how this would be a positive impact over the course of the ten year agreement signed by the two firms.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.