At the Zend/PHP Conference and Expo (ZendCon), Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic collaboration with Zend Technologies Inc. that will ultimately provide people with better control over their personal information on the Web and greatly improve the trustworthiness of Web-based interactions.
Microsoft’s relationship with Zend Technologies will enable support for information cards by PHP developers through a component built for Zend Framework. Using this as a stand-alone component or as part of the framework, PHP developers will be able to specify a Web site’s security policy and accept information cards from trusted third parties.
“With this announcement, Microsoft and Zend are making a commitment to deliver information card support to PHP developers, which will reduce development costs and help make the Web safer and more secure for people,” said Vijay Rajagopalan, principal architect for Platform & Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft. “Customers have asked Microsoft to take the lead in enabling this interoperability, and today’s news demonstrates how we’re doing that.”
Zend Framework is an open source PHP application framework for developing Web applications and Web services. When support for information cards within the Zend framework is enabled, users who access PHP-enabled Web sites will receive consistent user control of their digital identities and improved confidence in the authentication process for remote applications, all with greater security than password-based Web logins offer.
For consumers, Zend Technologies’ implementation of information cards enables users to provide their digital identities in a familiar, security- enhanced and simple way. They are analogous to business cards, credit cards or membership cards that people use every day.
“Enabling information card support in Zend Framework allows developers to make it easy for users of their Web sites to use Windows CardSpace(TM) and other solutions to identify themselves without remembering myriad usernames and passwords, providing them with not just greater convenience, but a much more secure way to do so as well,” said Robert Richards, PHP extensions contributor and author of “Pro PHP XML and Web Services.” “Zend and Microsoft deliver an important benefit to the PHP community by driving standards adoption on important issues such as these.”
The cooperative work on information cards that Microsoft is announcing with Zend extends the company’s previous interoperability efforts in this area. Microsoft, in collaboration with industry partners Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS and ThoughtWorks Inc., has developed open source interoperability projects on information cards for systems based on Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Java language, as well as Ruby.
“Web sites developed on ASP.NET can already accept information cards,” Rajagopalan explained. “With this work, a Java-based Web site, for example, built on the Sun Java System Web Server, Apache Tomcat or IBM WebSphere Application Server can now accept a digital information card for security- enhanced identity. A Web site built on Ruby on Rails can accept an information card. There is also an open source information card library project implemented in C, developed by Ping Identity Corp.”