The companies have been co-operating on an initiative to allow their identity management systems to work together, and developed a common method for Sun's OpenSSO Enterprise software to work with Microsoft's Geneva identity management system.
The report explained that, in order for identity management systems to gain widespread adoption, a method would have to be devised to allow the systems to communicate and share information.
"Identity federation responds to the need to share resources across heterogeneous environments by making identities portable, so that they can be shared with and leveraged by trusted partners," the companies said. "It streamlines and simplifies the process of sharing the identity data associated with users."
The interoperability was based on the Security Assertion Markup Language, a standard used to securely exchange data online. Sun and Microsoft then exchanged support for each side's respective technology, plugging .NET and SharePoint support into OpenSSO.
The companies now believe that a system exists in which businesses can share and manage identity information securely using either company's product.
"Interoperability between heterogeneous technologies is becoming increasingly important as organisations that run different kinds of applications seek to collaborate with each other," the report said.
"The presence of a common industry standard in the Sun OpenSSO Enterprise and Microsoft Geneva Server solutions allows organisations to easily, freely and securely share resources across heterogeneous applications."
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