Reactivity Brings Federated Identity to XML Web Services

Reference architecture first to ensure transactional trust and scalability

San Francisco, Calif., February 14, 2005 - Reactivity, Inc., a leader in secure XML Web services deployment systems, today unveiled the Reactivity Federated Identity Model for Web services, a reference architecture based on the Liberty Alliance trust model that for the first time offers a simple way to preserve and use layered identity with XML Web services. The Reactivity Federated Identity Model enables enterprises to ensure transactional trust across multi-hop Web services and maintain a unified record of the identities associated with a transaction, while providing the performance required for production environments.

Reactivity developed the model as its customers began to expand their use of XML Web services beyond point-to-point connections after their initial successes using Reactivity's XML infrastructure. These customers wanted to deploy more complex, multi-hop services based on reusable components, but to do this, they needed layered identity information - the originator's identity as well as the identities of every service involved in the transaction.

Also, as XML Web services become more sophisticated, the number of Web services connections between applications grows, and multiple services need to leverage the same layered identity information, a "single sign-on" for Web services. Although the Liberty Alliance has created a mature, standards-based federated identity model for individuals using Web sites, Reactivity is the first to apply this model to XML Web services, and in a way that scales.

"Applying the principles of the Liberty Alliance model, our reference architecture uses SAML assertions as a significant integration point to tie user identities to an auditable transaction trail, enabling truly federated identity between users, partner applications and internal/back-end services," said Andrew Nash, chief technology officer at Reactivity. "By using an XML gateway to broker the transactions, we are able to maintain a unified record of each transaction, assure transaction trust and achieve the performance required for production use."

The reference architecture was created by Andrew Nash in partnership with the security and application architects of Reactivity customers and partners.

"Reactivity's reference architecture is a giant leap forward in providing a simple, practical method for ensuring trust across multi-hop Web services, and we are applying this model with our Reactivity Gateways to enable our Thomson Prometric customers to easily reserve and pay for the use of our testing centers," said Christopher Crowhurst, vice president and principal architect, Thomson Learning, a Thomson Corporation company. Thomson Learning delivers state-of-the-art, tailored learning solutions for individuals, businesses and institutions around the world. "The model enables us to develop and deploy reusable Web services components and maintain transactional trust and non-repudiation across all our applications without sacrificing performance."

The Reactivity Gateway enforces XML Web services policies and offers the most comprehensive XML security feature suite, while delivering any-to-any XML Web services interoperability and unmatched logging and reporting - all at wire speed. The centralized definition, enforcement and management of security and operational policies establish new levels of trust among applications, and help ensure compliance with privacy and data protection laws. Reactivity's dedicated appliances process and secure XML and SOAP messages to improve network and application throughput, and enable an organization's existing operations staff to operate and maintain clusters of appliances across geographically distributed data centers for maximum operational scalability.

About Reactivity

Reactivity provides a leading deployment infrastructure used by enterprises to realize the promise of Web services. Reactivity can be reached at, +1-650-551-7800, or


Reactivity is a trademark of Reactivity, Inc. All other products and services mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies.

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