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.

A lovely dinner

Last night I had dinner with a cast of characters:

We grabbed a late batch of dim sum at Ton Kiang. Good stuff I have to say.

One of the things that Mark Mc and noticed was that the identity market is remarkably small. It is definitely a good thing that ex-Access360/IBM, Thor/Oracle, Waveset/Sun guys can break bread and have a laugh over the deals that we used to compete. It’s that (grudging, at times) comradery in this market that I love and it is one the things that makes Catalyst so much fun.


Wasn’t I here last year? – Catalyst 2007 Begins

I think I stayed in the exact same room last year. It faces west and on a day like today, the wind whips on from the west and slams into the windows. The windows open about an inch. And if you open them, you create a very interesting wind pattern in your room, one that makes a LOT of noise. Cross the sounds of Hell that Dante described with a sound a small jet engine. I apologize to those of you on the 38th floor… but I kind of like staying in a room the sounds like a sound stage for Ghost Busters.

I’ll be headed to dinner to night with the identitystuff crew. Should be good fun. I’ve got the Pentax with me so I’ll try and upload shots when I can.