Microsoft and Sun Microsystems Fact Sheet, May 2005

Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have moved forward in improving interoperability for customers using Liberty and WS-* Web service architectures. The companies have co-authored two specifications, Web Single Sign-On Metadata Exchange Protocol (Web SSO MEX) and Web Single Sign-On Interoperability Profile (Web SSO Interop Profile), which enable Web single sign-on (SSO) between security domains that use Liberty ID-FF and WS-Federation.

The Web SSO MEX Protocol provides a foundation for interoperability across environments that use Liberty or WS-Federation for browser-based Web SSO. Products that support the Web SSO MEX Protocol and the Web SSO Interop Profile will enable companies to provide users with an improved SSO experience from their Web browsers. For example, if a company implements an employee portal using Sun Java™ Enterprise System, and the company’s benefits provider deploys a Web-based application using Microsoft® Windows Server™, then an employee will be able to access the benefits application from the portal without having to log in separately.

As part of the companies’ ongoing commitment to improving interoperability across their respective product lines, Microsoft and Sun also plan to support the new specifications within their product portfolios, including Microsoft Windows Server and Sun Java Enterprise System; these products will make it easier for customers to achieve browser-based Web SSO across security domains.

Microsoft and Sun welcome participation in the further development of these draft specifications through the Web services protocol workshop process, and ultimately will submit them to a standards organization for finalization and ratification as industry standards. Drafts of the new specifications are available on Microsoft’s Web site and Sun’s Web site for anyone to review and comment on.

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