CardSpace / Identity 2.0

Man, I hate these cliché technology terms. Anyways, at one of my clients we are using CardSpace with SharePoint, and it is working great, users really love it as the whole experience for both internal and external use is the same. Best of all we were able to eliminate the dual authentication prompts with office clients dropping the login token when invoked from SharePoint with the CardSpace OM. We use a common WebPart library that exposes the required common CardSpace API calls to build out something that we call “IdentityPoint” which manages all the InfoCards within the enterprise. All in all it is very neat, very manageable, and very cool. I spent a lot of time on it.

Then I was in a meeting today, and one of my co-workers was talking about how we were identity 2.0 cutting edge, compliant, or some other phrase that made no sense. I reached over the table and I punched him. Well, ok, I didn’t punch him, but we had a verbal argument.

Identity 2.0, as coined by Dick Hardt (which really isn’t that clever of a term when you think about it), people feel is the principal enabler for Web 2.0 implementation. Reason being, Web 2.0 will highly integrate the concept of people / identities, and therefore an identity metasystem is a pivotal concept to take into consideration with Web 2.0. This I can agree with.

CardSpace alone can’t build an identity metasystem, that’s not how it works. CardSpace provides an interface into an open standards identity architecture, agnostic towards vendor or protocol (that is why we are using WS* standards). CardSpace is central to identity metasystem realization because the reach of the Windows OS is massive, and being native with the packaging of CardSpace within Vista (and most of your SharePoint users being on IE anyways), it is something that should generally be embraced. An identity metasystem, on the other hand, is the collaboration of a huge amount of parties to subscribe to this theme. It is an Amish barn building process, whereby everyone that chooses to subscribe to this concept participates in putting up the necessary segments that lead to the final product. Once the final barn is finished, then we can add new horses to it to move things around, move horses back and forth, or remove horses as we see fit.

I think that metaphor sucked but it was the only thing that I could think of that fit.