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Novell plugs Bandit for ID management

Bandit project will create a set of open-source components for services that use identity data in online transactions.

Novell on Monday plans to officially launch Bandit, an open-source identity management project that was quietly started earlier this year.

As previously reported by CNET News.com, the Bandit project aims to create a set of open-source components for services that use identity data in online transactions, whether corporate or consumer. By going public, Novell hopes to attract more developers to build on its initial code for network sign-on, policy-based administration and other directory-related services.

Bandit will make use of other efforts working on standards for identity purposes, Dale Olds, a distinguished engineer at Novell, said in an interview. These include the Liberty Alliance's protocols and specifications and Higgins, an open-source project backed by Novell and IBM. Higgins is meant to give people more control of their data when they do business online.

"Identity is the missing piece of the Internet," Olds said. "We are all trying to build pieces and collaborate, rather than building another silo of identity information."

Novell has contributed engineering resources and code to jumpstart Bandit. Its contributions include the blueprints, or source code, to a database component that underlies its GroupWise, eDirectory and iFolder products, as well as a credential manager used in the Novell Linux Desktop and in Suse Linux 10, Olds said.

In identity management, Novell has an established line of directory products and server software that authenticates network access. The goal of the Bandit project is to provide customers with a consistent approach to typical bugbears in enterprise identity management, such as secure, role-based access and regulatory compliance reporting, the company said.

"I don't think Bandit is going to produce all of the open-source components, but I think it will contribute a set of components that are going to make it easy to use identity (data) in a consistent manner across services and applications on the Internet," Olds said.