Salesforce.com signs up open source ForgeRock's identity tech

A development partnership between the two firms means Salesforce.com's new identity service uses ForgeRock's single sign-on management software.
Written by Toby Wolpe, Contributor

Salesforce.com has struck a deal with ForgeRock to build the open-source firm's identity and access software into the Salesforce Identity product that has just gone on sale.

Salesforce Identity Connect, which provides single sign-on and secure identity services across on-premise and cloud infrastructures, uses ForgeRock's Open Identity Stack.

"If you're behind the firewall of a large enterprise, this software allows the CIO or CTO to be able to manage that identity right into the Salesforce cloud and provide for all the identity-management characteristics that you're after in terms of controlling that access," ForgeRock CEO Mike Ellis said.

"Think of it as a way to connect the users automatically into the Salesforce cloud. They can at the same time be logged into their normal enterprise applications.

"This allows them a single sign-on capability, not only to their enterprise applications behind the firewall, but also direct access into Salesforce's cloud applications without having to do additional tasks."

Salesforce Identity offering

Salesforce's Identity product, unveiled in September 2012, goes on sale this week from $5 per user per month, plus $1 per user per month for adding existing identity directories and using Salesforce Identity Connect. It is included free with certain enterprise and unlimited edition licences.

Ellis said managing identities and security is a long-standing issue but the challenge now is coping with very large numbers of people, including customers, communities, partners and suppliers.

"That scale has changed for large enterprises from the thousands to the tens of millions or even the hundreds of millions in terms of identities or customers or people that they want to identify and provide privileges for," he said.

According to Ellis, the development partnership with Salesforce is highly significant for both organisations but takes the software-as-a-service provider into new territory.

"It really provides for an enablement for Salesforce to start to market to the broader community inside an enterprise, as opposed to, say, just the folks interested in CRM or some of the other core components of Salesforce. So it's a very interesting strategy," he said.

ForgeRock was set up three-and-a-half years ago by former Sun Microsystems employees who left the company after Oracle's $7.4bn 2010 takeover to develop Sun's OpenSSO open access platform, now called OpenAM.

With recent contracts with a number of large organisations, such as Telefonica Solutions in Spain, Plus Retail in the Netherlands, GEICO in the US and Yellow Pages in Canada, the company last month announced 200 percent year-on-year sales growth for its second quarter 2013.

In July, ForgeRock unveiled it Bridge Service Provider Edition, a customisable, on-premise component that enables cloud service providers to handle user identities across hybrid cloud and on-premise environments.

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