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Subject: RE: [saml-dev] SAML Interop 2002 at Burton Catalyst

Title: RE: [saml-dev] SAML Interop 2002 at Burton Catalyst


Thanks for taking the initiative on this.

> Dear Fellow SAML Interop 2002 Participants,
> My name is Don Bowen and I am leading the SAML Interop
> coordination for Sun. I am working closely with our
> engineering team, which is building our first SAML-compliant
> product, now called Sun ONE Identity Server.
> I know Prateek Mishra from Netegrity has sent out a more
> formal proposal for the technical focus for the interop and I
> hope to see more responses to that proposal soon. At the same
> time I believe there is a need to start thinking about this
> event from a little higher level and to begin to map out a
> timetable and the details for how we will make this happen.

> If for some reason I have missed a prior effort by someone
> else on the list to initiate this same activity, my
> apologies. I am just getting a little concerned with time and
> having recently been a Burton Group employee, I know the
> level of professionalism attendees will expect (and I'm sure
> many of you do as well).

I am confident you didn't miss anything. ;-)

> I would like to schedule a conference call as soon as
> possible, possibly as early as next week, to discuss some of
> the following issues and others, which we can hopefully
> identity via email in the next few days.

Can Sun sponsor a conference bridge? Next Tuesday (4/23) at 12:00 EDT would be a good time as the regular SAML call has been canceled.

> Again, assuming the technical focus will be worked out
> separately, I wanted to highlight some of what I've been
> thinking about and then let others add, remove, clarify, etc.
> My apologies in advance for this format.

> What will we call this? Has this been decided already? You
> can see the subject line for my vote :-)

Seems reasonable to me. Perhaps a Marketing person would not find it very sexy. We should run it by Jim Kobielus. What have prior events of this sort been called?

> How will we execute a dry-run?
> Will we meet somewhere centrally and bring our equipment,
> switches, cables, software, etc.?
> This is probably most efficient, but not cheap
> What location is the most effective?
> If we did it on the west coast, for example, could we have
> one or more vendors provide more of the hardware (one of us
> should be able to do that :-) Let me go on record as voting
> for this approach.

> We should probably book a hotel with conference room large
> enough to "work" in very soon.
> Would we try to do this over the internet and avoid the travel?
> At first thought this seemed more economical, but now seems
> likely to be:
> more expensive
> more time-consuming
> less helpful for what we have to execute at Catalyst

We still favor the Internet approach, perhaps each of us working to acheive interoperability with one other vendor at a time. If not, perhaps we could have an east coast and a west dry run. A number of us are here in the Boston area. Seems like it would be better to hold it in a lab at a company if possible for better access to power, phone lines, etc.

As far as equipment, we need to distinguish between end systems, which I assume each vendor will provide and network equipment which could be as little as a couple of ethernet switches.

> How soon do we need to have the dry-run?
> Catalyst runs from July 15-17 (actually the
> registration/dinner is July 14th and not to be missed if you
> haven't attended before - this is my 6th one :-)
> Our "hospitality suite" where the demo will occur is Monday, July 15
> We will want time to regroup after the dry-run and "fix" things.
> Should we shoot for end of May? Middle of June? I'd prefer
> the former.

Mid June seems more realistic. However, if we do it over the net, the testing can stretch out for 6 weeks or more.

Let me make a specific counter proposal:

Technical specifications to be agreed upon by May 15.

Bilateral testing to begin as soon as any two vendors are ready.

[Optional] Regional dry runs at companies or hotel suite during June.

Everybody arrive in SF by July 8 for setup and interop testing in a hotel suite.

Move the setup to the Catalyst site when available (7/13 or 7/14).

(It is easier for me to send a team to the west coast a few days early than to do two separate trips.)

> At Catalyst
> We can have access to the suite for setup on Saturday. I am
> currently planning to arrive Friday night just in case I can
> be of any help and also to make sure that we are ready to
> begin the setup activity on Saturday morning. The suite will
> have internet hookup, but nothing else will be provided.
> We really need to be ready to go (imho) by Sunday afternoon,
> but I am hopeful that Saturday evening is a possibility. Much
> will depend on how well the dry-run goes and how much stays
> the same :-)

I think the best demo net is an isolated switch. That minimizes the extraneous variables. Internet access will be needed only for downloads.

> During the day, actually in the morning, on Monday, July 15
> we will be required to provide a briefing and demo for the press.
> During the evening on Monday, July 15 we will open the suite
> to Catalyst attendees for demos and briefing.

> Details for how the demos will be done is something we need
> to discus. We definitely need a vision here, followed by a
> well written script. This could be one of the most difficult
> issues to address and may be the most key.

Once we agree on the technical specifications, this should not be too hard.

> On Tuesday during a general session, one of the SAML TC
> co-chairs, Jeff Hodges or Joe Pato, will provide a SAML
> report, including a "post mortem" on the previous day's activities.
> Marketing
> We will want to have some kind of marketing done on this
> prior to Catalyst. The sooner the better. I am not aware of
> any plans, but that doesn't mean there aren't any.
> I talked to Jim Kobielus at Burton, who is our interface and
> he will help. I actually think it is very important that they
> assist a lot here, but again, just my thoughts. I told him we
> should begin to "hype" this onsite at registration and during
> the dinner on Sunday.

I would hope they would "hype" it in advance of the show. Perhaps they could put something on the web page.

> We will need to create collateral specifically for this
> event, but what? At a minimum we need:
> A printed handout that gives an overview of SAML (with links
> to more detail), shows who is participating and
> diagrams/describes exactly what is being demonstrated (order
> to be determined)
> Graphic visual-aids for the walls in the suite. This could
> include a banner, blow ups of the diagrams, etc.

> We need to agree on the size and format for the signage to be
> used by each company and should probably discuss how and
> where this is to be placed.
> What have similar Interop events done? Are they comparible?
> Can we leverage any of what they did? Should we avoid
> something they did? I've taken the liberty to ask Jim to
> research this and provide his thoughts.

I think each participating vendor should identify a marketing contact to work on this stuff in parallel to the technical work.

> If we can show that SAML is very real in products that will
> soon be shipping (or already are) AND have all vendors feel
> good about their participation, we will have been very successful.


> I am sure that all of you will be able to add to this list
> and maybe even point out why some of these issues aren't big (or
> are even bigger). Whatever the case, let's try to build a
> fairly succinct list of issues/discussion points. Then let's get on a
> conference call and try to make decisions on some and divide
> and conquer the rest. For those issues it becomes clear can't be
> solved on the phone or which require more investigation, we
> can assign an individual or individuals to develop a
> strawman, discuss via email and if necessary have another con call.
> This email is only my attempt to move us forward. If there is
> a better way or if somehow this is already going on and I'm
> just not aware, please point me in the right direction. Thanks.
> If you've been waiting for a fire to be lit under this
> effort, please consider this email the match :-)
> Don;

I don't see any way to deal with these issues other than attacking then one at a time.


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