Conceived as an infrastructure software component, Provisioner, can be embedded as a building block to compose a complete identity management solution.

Provisioner is an identity provisioning software component through which service providers can activate services (e.g., Authentication, Membership, Authorization, Email, PBX, Corporate applications, etc.) to its consumers in service provider's subjacent hetherogeneous network. It is a back-end software that runs on the background receiving provisioning requests and forwards them to the corresponding identity stores and systems after applying XML pre-configured business rules.

Provisioner automates the provisioning and activation of services, in such a way that there is no need of manual intervention from business support systems. Business support systems does not need to have a thorough knowledge of the service network per se; Provisioner is the interface in charge of the communication with service's identity stores.

Through Provisioner, service providers can create subscriptors in the service network, modify subscriptor’s data, activate services to existent subscriptors, and eliminate subscriptors and its services.

Provisioner is able to manage abstract work orders, that is, business support system can ask Provisioner to perform service activations, and the system is capable of deducing and executing the necessary procedures.

Provisioner's Roadmap includes features that will enable Provisioner to receive provisioning requests via SPMLv2 and to interact with SPMLv2 and LDAPv3 compliant identity stores (i.e. PSTs). Increasing end-to-end security enforcement through WS-Security compliance, is planned as well.

Provisioner's benefits

Service providers’ networks typically consist of several types of identity stores manufactured by different vendors. Provisioner is a flexible system capable of supporting a wide range of different identity stores types, vendors and software versions. Provisioner standardizes the interface with business support systems in such a way that changes in service providers’ network do not affect business support systems.

The following list enumerates some of Provisioner's benefits and business drivers:

• No need for multiple and expensive management systems in a service provider network with identity stores from several different vendors. That is, one-stop shopping for user and service provisioning across all enterprise and service provider applications.

• Manual and routine provisioning work is reduced to its minimum, thus less error prone.

• Since Provisioner automates operations between business support systems and operational support systems, business support systems can provide services to the subscriber without having a thorough technical knowledge of the subjacent service infrastructure.

• The Provisioner can provision and activate services with a near-real-time throughoutput.

• Provisioner is appropriate for both small and top-notch service providers.

• Provisioner provides regulatory compliance (i.e. Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA)

• Provisioner helps strengthen security

• Provisioner reduces ID and password complexity for users

How does Provisioner work?

Provisioner receives work orders from business support systems to provision services and access info to service's subscribers. Once the system has received a request, it determines in which identity stores it has to execute the request. Then it transforms the request into one or more specific provisioning commands for those identity stores, and finally it executes those commands.

When business support systems wants that certain services be activated to a subscriber in several identity stores, Provisioner guaranties that those operations are executed in the same order that the business support system sent them.

The system prepares one response for each completed request and delivers this response to the corresponding business support system, inserting it in the request queue. This response informs the business support system of the request’s outcome.