[December 11, 2000] Led by Business Layers Inc., several companies have formed the Active Digital Profile Initiative, designed to "standardize interfaces and methodologies used to provision digital resources that span devices, applications and services within the enterprise and between enterprises." Background to the initiative is the "complex supply chain... Companies must provision voice and data network resources, security systems, remote access systems, operating systems, applications, Web-based information services -- in addition to services that are outsourced to traditional outsourcers or ASPs." The initiative's response is the Active Digital Profile (ADPr) -- "a proposed open XML-based specification that will allow companies to share provisioning information across multi-vendor systems. When fully adopted and deployed, an enterprise will be able to hire a new employee or invite a new business partner to share their network resources knowing that everything that person needs to be productive will simply and automatically be delivered to the right person at the right time. The initiative invites anyone interested in expanding the scope of their provisioning solutions to join its effort to bring openness and interoperability to the eProvisioning process... The ADPr is an XML-based specification that supports any application, in any scenario. The ADPr is an eProvisioning specification, not a network management specification. It is designed to handle the adds, moves, changes, and deletion of users associated with a broad range of services or resources, across the extended enterprise. The specification defines a document that will include a header containing authentication and authorization information, a context used to identify the user and all bounding conditions such as contracts, SLAs, organizations, domains, etc., and one or more tasks and the associated data that is valid within the scope defined by the context... Based on Business Layers' advanced eProvisioning software, used by customers around the world, the ADPr specification has already undergone significant development. Business Layers will continue to work with various industry leaders to refine the new specification and submit it to OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards."
"Business Layers Leads Effort to Develop First XML-Based eProvisioning Specification. Check Point Software Technologies, ePresence, Netigy, Novell and Other Leading Companies Applaud Proposed Active Digital Profile (ADPr) Specification." - "Business Layers, the company that first defined eProvisioning to help organizations map business activities onto their digital infrastructures, is now leading the effort to make a common XML-based eProvisioning specification available industry-wide. Together with leading industry partners, Business Layers will deliver the Active Digital Profile (ADPr) specification, which leverages the company's expertise in developing digital profile-based eProvisioning software. ADPr is an XML-based schema designed to provide a vendor- and platform-independent exchange of provisioning information, offering the first universal specification to securely allocate and deploy IT applications, devices, systems, and services to employees, business partners, and customers. Companies that have commended this proposed specification include Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd., ePresence, Inc., Netigy, and Novell... ADPr allows multiple systems to exchange a complete set of provisioning information - including the action to be taken, the data required to perform the action, authentication and authorization information about the requestor, the relationship between the systems, and any other context that defines the environment of the request. The specification provides for the industry-wide development of eProvision-enabled solutions that cover the gamut from business processes to IT resource allocation. Organizations using these solutions can dramatically reduce the time, cost, and effort typically associated with allocating resources to employees, customers, and business partners... Based on Business Layers' advanced eProvisioning software, used by customers around the world, the ADPr specification has already undergone significant development. Business Layers will continue to work with various industry leaders to refine the new specification and submit it to OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. The DTD, schemas, and documents will be available at www.ADPr-spec.com and www.eprovision.com . Both sites feature additional resources, such as code samples and test suites." [source]
[December 10, 2000] "Let's Get in Sync Already. Group Aims To Sync Directories. Proposed standard translates user profiles into common format, but lacks widespread support." By John Webster. In InternetWeek #840 (December 04, 2000), page 13. "Keeping systems, network and application directories in sync has never been a picnic for IT managers. Adding, changing or removing an employee's access rights to a company's data can require changes to numerous network and application directories. In the latest effort to come up with a standard that simplifies that process, a group of vendors last week proposed a specification that provides a common method of formatting a user profile and synchronizing it with XML-based applications, databases and networks. The specification, called the Active Digital Profile, was developed by software vendor Business Layers with support from several directory management and security vendors, including Access360, Netigy, Novell and Oblix. But the group has yet to approach IBM, Microsoft and the Sun-Netscape Alliance-key suppliers of system directories. Their support would be critical for the ADPr spec to be broadly adopted, said International Data Corp. analyst Chris Christiansen. 'Vendors may be hesitant to open up their applications to competing products,' he said. Also, suppliers of directory software have been slow to complete another specification, the Lightweight Duplication/Replication Update Protocol, intended to provide a base method of synchronizing data with directories based on Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, the Internet standard which most directories now support. And there's yet another directory specification, the Directory Services Markup Language protocol, which defines how information is accessed from LDAP directories. Business Layers' officials argue that ADPr complements existing efforts, noting it will translate into common format directory attributes, such as a user's access control rights, an individual's status and whether the user is an employee, business partner or customer. It also tracks other information like an individual's system and connection type. The ADPr effort underscores a key problem many IT shops face. Every time a systems administrator changes information in one directory, it's essential that the same information gets changed in all the other directories. The appeal of ADPr is that it shares personal identification elements across resources, he said. That's important because a large company might have more than 100 directories that contain critical user and device profiles. This determines who has access to sensitive corporate data, including where an employee is located along with his or her computer and network configuration. That's becoming more critical as companies give outsiders access to specific applications and data, observers said. Directory management apps such as Business Layers' Day One and Oblix NetPoint centralize this process by automatically updating back-end data repositories, such as databases, when people get hired, fired or change positions within a company. In turn, ADPr will use XML to extend the reach of these apps directory management capabilities. Still, the group needs to convince other vendors to support the spec. In addition to IBM, Microsoft and Sun-Netscape, it needs support from application providers including Oracle, Peoplesoft and SAP, among others, Hoch said. The group plans to submit ADPr to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards in mid-2001."
"E-provisioning specification started." By Tom Sullivan. In In InfoWorld (November 28, 2000). "Several companies, including Novell and Check Point Software Technologies, have begun work on an XML-based specification to ease the task of provisioning resources. The specification, known as ADPr (Active Digital Profile), is being driven by Business Layers, a Rochelle Park, N.J.-based e-provisioning company, along with industry players such as Novell, Check Point Software Technologies, ePresence and Netigy. ADPr is an XML-based schema designed to provide a vendor- and platform-independent exchange of provisioning information to allocate and deploy IT applications, devices, systems, and services to employees, business partners, and customers. In its early stages, the specification is based on Business Layers' software, but it will not be limited to that, according to Adrian Viego, CTO of Business Layers. The listed partners are supporting ADPr through technology as well as volunteering to contribute to the development of the specification. Viego added that if everything goes according to plan, Business Layers hopes to submit the specification early in the second half of next year to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), an international standards body that creates interoperable specifications."
[December 04, 2000] "XML ends the year with a bang, not a whimper." By Roberta Holland and Jeffrey Burt. In eWEEK (December 04, 2000). "Another week, another XML specification proposed. Such has been the momentum for the Extensible Markup Language, with new coalitions of vendors materializing to hawk the latest extension to the standard, not to mention work going on at the various independent groups that oversee XML... Business Layers, of New Rochelle, N.J., is leading the initiative to create an XML standard to speed up the e-provisioning process within enterprises and between trading partners. The proposed standard, Active Digital Profile, or ADPr, would reduce the time and money spent by IT people inputting profile information whenever a change -- if a product changes or an employee is hired or fired -- occurs within a company. If a company that outsources its front-end Web presence changes a product, it currently is incumbent on IT people to ensure the changes are made on the Web site. With an XML standard for e-provisioning, much of that process can be automated. 'It's important, especially if you're a large company, like DuPont or GM, with a lot of employees and a lot of changes,' said Gary Habermann, vice president and chief technology officer of FamilyEscape.com in Haddonfield, N.J. 'It saves a lot of time and money.' Business Layers executives hope to have a proposal ready to bring before standards bodies -- such as the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, or OASIS -- within seven months. Other companies currently supporting the initiative include Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., ePresence Inc. and Netigy Corp. A fundamental reason for the proliferation of more informal coalitions among vendors is speed, with the promise of faster time to market for products than a traditional standards process would allow. 'With standards bodies, it's usually a long time, about a year, before people start supporting a proposed standard,' said Art Nevarez, architect for Novell Inc. in Provo, Utah. 'Neither process is perfect for what you want, so as a company we end up working both ends'."
[December 11, 2000] "Business Layers to Propose E-Provisioning Standard." By Dave Kearns. In Network World (December 11, 2000). "Business Layers (the electronic-provisioning company, first to demonstrate an enterprise-class directory-enabled application) is about to embark on its first venture into standards making. What they want to do is to take the Active Digital Profile (ADPr) -- a compendium of the actions needed by their software to fully provision a new, moved or terminated employee - and turn it into a standard. . . I tried to suggest gently that I wasn't about to speak glowingly of ADPr, so it might be best if I just left it alone. But, no, Mr. PR kept after me. 'When will you write about it?' he said. Today, I'm writing about it. ADPr is a proprietary technology used by Business Layers. No other vendor in the e- provisioning space is going to agree to use it. Any application vendor who does adopt it risks alienating Business Layers' competitors. The real clincher, though, is that ADPr is simply not needed. It's an XML package of Objects and Attributes, which properly belong in the directory where all applications have equal access..."