The Kantara Initiative, formed to promote interoperability among identity verification applications and services, launched on Wednesday with big-name backers like Oracle, Intel, eBay's PayPal, AOL, CA, Novell, Fidelity Investments, Liberty Alliance, Boeing, Internet Society and British Telecom.
Enterprise vendors, large companies and technology startups have in recent years developed a wide array of identity applications and services, creating a growing need to address this technology fragmentation, said Roger Sullivan, an Oracle executive who is president of the Liberty Alliance and of the Kantara Initiative.
"This initiative is aimed at harmonizing across the wide spectrum of ID technologies and ID business practices, from social networking Web 2.0 communities to traditional enterprise deployments and technologies," said Sullivan, Oracle's vice president of identity management.
While the support of over 40 organizations gives the Kantara Initiative "a critical mass" in its membership, the group wants to attract more people and groups that feel they can contribute to the work. For that reason, Kantara isn't a "pay-to-play" group -- anyone can actively participate in its discussions and projects.
"We've got a good nucleus, a good active crowd of people who are anxious and eager for this work to begin but we know there are more to come and they'll be active as time goes by," Sullivan said.
There are already about 20 work and discussion groups active in Kantara, which will base the technology it develops on open standards, frameworks, protocols and specifications, such as OpenID, OAuth and SAML 2.0.