Catalyst 2007: Quotes and Thoughts

So Catalyst is winding down.  And as usual a good time was had by all.

A couple of notable quotes from the week:

  • Jim Heaton – Architect systems so they fail like escalators, not elevators.
  • Bob Blakley – PKI as slow motion failure
  • Mitch Hamilton – If you’re gonna be dumb, you’ve got to be tough.
  • Bob (again) – Depending on a secret builds risk.
  • Jonathan Schwartz – Eventually, I’ll run my ERP system on a BlackBerry.

As for thoughts on the Catalyst content… There was still a lot of conversation around user-centric identity.  I think Bob’s comparison of new and old school identity systems, which nicely compared federation to user-centric identity, was an excellent primer.  Personally, if they had stopped with just that presentation, I would have been happy and not needed anything else on the topic.

Having heard a few presentations on fine grained authorization, I still am trying to figure out the root cause behind it all.  I’m unclear of what is really driving people to expose their applications’ authorization models.  I think, and this is just my speculation, that cause behind this is that user provisioning systems have done a relatively poor job in managing entitlements.  Am I on the right path here?

Finally, I had a lot of conversations on advanced provisioning.  Deployments are maturing.  Companies are looking for other ways to get value out them and at the same time make their services more relevant to the business.  I wish the workshop that Lori did on these topics was, instead, delivered as sessions during the main conference.  There are a lot of pent up conversations on this broad topic and Burton can easily tap them.

I am sitting in SFO right now headed to ABQ and on to Santa Fe for a little vacation.  (BTW, how many state capitals don’t have airports?  Santa Fe is one, but think there are others.)  By the time I get into Santa Fe, the iPhone will be out in the wild.  I am very much tempted to go to an AT&T store and get one… we’ll see.

Enjoy iPhone day everyone and have a great upcoming 4th of July.

In need of a new watering hole

It’s Catalyst season once again. And once again I’ll be holed up in the lovely Hilton on O’Farrell. This will be my fourth or fifth Catalyst and my umpteenth trip to San Francisco. And knowing a bit my readers, I know that this is pretty much the same for you too.

Having been to Catalyst this many times you end up in a bit of rut. Yes, having drinks at the Clift Hotel is always amusing. I mean, who doesn’t like the giant chair? I like the bar in the lobby of the Westin Saint Francis as well, but drinking into hotels is getting kinda tired.

Friends, Romans, traveling identity wonks – I ask you to open up your black books of travel and share with the class a suggestion or two for new places to have a drink.

I’ll throw two out to start.   I’ll start by saying, I’ve been to neither yet.  First, Bourbon & Branch seems interesting. I saw it on Gridskipper; anyone been there?  Second, Tunnel Top. Back when Tuesday Night was centered on the regular Tuesday Night beer at Toledo Lounge, there were actually two Tuesday Night factions.  When friends moved west, they started up Tuesday Night West in Tunnel Top.  They described the place as a yard sale with liquor, and let’s face it, that can’t be a bad thing.

See you in a few weeks.