[June 30, 2000] The Directory Interoperability Forum (DIF) "was formed to accelerate the evolution and adoption of open directory-based applications. The membership of DIF, including directory customers, vendors and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), are working through existing standards bodies to ensure interoperability and reduce the investment risk for companies doing e-business."
The DIF "Authentication Service Provider Working Group" will produce a schema and reference document "Directory Interoperability Proposal for XML Directory Enabled Service Provider Application Framework." Details: "A specification is required to provide the necessary framework and guidelines to enable secure user authentication via a common directory infrastructure. This framework must allow XML-based applications to use any one of the authentication schemes supported by the underlying directory infrastructure. The specification will be based on common directory standards such as the IETF drafts from the LDAP, LDAPExt, and Policy Working Groups; and the DSML proposal from the DSML working group. The primary work item is an XML schema definition that will enable applications to authenticate users by providing a directory infrastructure with credential information in the form of an XML document that can be delivered via native Internet protocols (such as HTTP). This specification advances the DIF agenda by ensuring that XML-based applications can leverage directories as authentication services in addition to using them to publish profile and resource information. Chief Deliverable: A Directory Interoperability Proposal that defines an XML Schema for describing: (1) Authentication using directory DN and Password, (2) Authentication using directory DN and X.509 Certificate, (3) Authentication using directory DN and Proxy, (4) Authentication using directory DN and directory attribute."
"AuthXML" is a label used for the DIF (Securant) proposal in development.