The foundation role of Identity in Cloud SOA

On page 16 of the Healthcare Cloud strategy documentation they show ‘F/IDM’ to be the foundation to integrated services delivered from Cloud Providers.

Federated Identity Management is where the Identity authentication systems like Active Directory, are connected and synchronized, so that you don’t have to repeatedly enter your username and password for each domain they control access to.

‘Cloud SSO’ (Single Sign-on) is where this effect is achieved across Cloud environments and applications.

C-SOA : Best Practice Alerts

As an example of where and how this could be applied, we can look at an example scenario of ‘Best Practice Alerts’, which also then sets the scene for the role F/IDM will play in the overarching theme of C-SOA: Cloud Service Oriented Architecture.

Described in our Private Cloud 2.0 scenario is the case study of the NHS in the UK, using the Search fast engine to provide medical staff with tailored information alerts, which are generated from the search function crawling various back-end systems.

Enabling better user access to back-end systems is one of the primary goals of a SOA, and this scenario demonstrates how Search can be one of the models for achieving this.

And if you read this Technet article, you will see one of the challenges this architecture faces is the simple mechanics of Identity authentication. The FAST Search engine must have access to the various files, folders and applications that it is required to index to provide this information.

Searching across multiple domains like this is called Federated Search, and so the role of Federated Identity can be seen clearly as the foundational component that securely connects different domains so these types of applications can run between them.

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