Vendors rush to back new e-transaction spec

Vendors, service providers and customers have rushed in to support an initiative to create a standard way to secure internet-based electronic transactions.

Vendors, service providers and customers have rushed in to support an initiative to create a standard way to secure internet-based electronic transactions.

The international array of 45 charter members of the AuthXML Working Group includes Argus Systems Group, Cap Gemini, Novell, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal Bank of Scotland, Secretariat du Conseil du Tresor, Valicert and Wave Systems. The group wants to have AuthXML ratified as an industry standard and said the spec will be submitted to industry standards bodies the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (Oasis). The AuthXML spec, which links two components of Web transaction security - authentication and authorisation - is based on XML and enables users to gain access to secure areas of different web sites once they have been given authorisation from any one of the sites. Britta Glade, marketing director at Securant Technologies, which is driving the initiative, said AuthXML contains a packet of information that follows the user from site to site. "It's your identity which follows you through everything," she said. Pete Lindstrom, an analyst with consultancy The Hurwitz Group, praised the specification. He said: "A breakthrough standard like AuthXML offers tremendous gains for e-marketplaces, exchanges and enterprises. AuthXML transports the 'genetic code' of a user's personal transaction information from site to site with a single sign-on, creating opportunities for referrals and personal concierge services while providing a single user experience."