SOA Software Announces Advanced SOA and Cloud Policy and Security Federation

SOA Software, an SOA and cloud services governance provider, is delivering a toolset that includes advanced policy and security federation for SOA (service-oriented architecture) and cloud services. The new product, Policy Manager 6.0, is intended to enable the right level of control over distributed, heterogeneous systems and platforms, the vendor says.

There are three main themes to Policy Manager 6.0, Ian Goldsmith, vice president of product management, SOA Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing. The first is heterogeneous policy management. Policy Manager 6.0 provides support for authoring, defining, publishing, provisioning and distributing policies across various systems from IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and other platform providers, explains Goldsmith, "so we can essentially provide uniform policy across a wide range of different systems, and we can also take policies that have been authored in other systems as long as they are standard- based and distribute them appropriately."

The second major theme is the open platform that SOA Software moved to for the product. Policy Manager 6.0 leverages an OSGi-based architecture providing a flexible, reliable, and high-performance solution for the most demanding enterprise environments. The new architecture, says Goldsmith, "provides much better operational readiness capabilities for dynamic update, for ease of adding features and changing the product on the fly without having to bring the whole product environment down."

The third key enhancement in the new release is in the area of security federation, with the addition of new standards. "We have extended the support for SAML to SAML 2.0; we have broadened our support for WS-Trust for token exchange," Goldsmith says. "We have moved to XACML for the authorization model; and we have continued to make improvements to the certificate authority that is built into the product, although that was already a strong set of capabilities."

A key trend is that many platforms themselves are starting to catch up with some of these standards, says Goldsmith. "Microsoft WCF [Windows Communication Foundation] can use WS-MetaDataExchange to retrieve WS-Policy Assertions that govern SAML and cryptographic functions, and signature and authorization within the platform itself, so we can now provide a policy infrastructure that can control WCF applications without actually having to interfere in the message exchange in any way."

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