Today I received a press release from a real estate software vendor indicating that they continue to “to set the standard in SSO technology”. This vendor has a penchant for braggadocio, and this claim is one of many that they have made in the area of standards setting that just irks me.
Let’s clarify who actually sets the SSO standard: The SAML standard, used to facilitate SSO (Single Sign-On), is led by the OASIS standards group (http://www.oasis-open.org/). They have been the ones that set the standard starting in 2001. The real estate software vendor had nothing to do with it.
Later in the press release, the vendor indicated that they have “been leading the charge on this open standard for the real estate industry since early 2007”. Since Clareity Consulting initiated the discussion of SSO and SAML in its white paper, “The Convenience and Security of Single Sign-On,” in August of 2005, was the company that gathered numerous vendors in meetings in 2005 and 2006 to agree to use the SAML standard for real estate application SSO in the first place, created the reference implementation that most if not all of the vendors are coordinated around, and hosted additional meetings at conventions for vendors to discuss implementation, it might possibly be more accurate to say that Clareity Consulting has been leading the charge on this open standard.
What this vendor has done is to implement the SAML standard. Just like other vendors are doing – quietly.
To sum up: implementing a standard is not the same as setting a standard. One vendor does not set an open standard anyway – it’s something that is done cooperatively.
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