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Thanks for the blogfodder. Now for responses to your particular queries:
• IdM and cellphones: Cellphones bring device identity—in particular, the IMSI--into the IdM mix. 1992—the year GSM got going—was the pivotal year.
• IdM and webservices: Web services—in particular, the URL—have made all the world’s resources directly addressable, or potentially so. 1995 was the inflection year. It was the year of the Web, of the URL, of the beginning of the all-points-addressable world economy/society.
• Why did CORBA fail: Not a clue. Perhaps because it sounds like a scary snake. Or perhaps because Web services, as a middleware environment, had from the start something CORBA never did: universal adoption across all platforms. In particular, the full force of Microsoft. The foundation year was 1999, when SOAP was announced.
• Federations may be difficult in the first place: Federations are as simple or difficult as you want/need to make them. What are you federating? For what purposes? How deeply and thoroughly are you federating diverse environments? Federating involves a lot of sweat equity. Once you’ve begun to federate, de-federating is painful. The important year was 2002, when, in the context of a Burton Group Catalyst hospitality suite, I brought a dozen vendors together to demonstrate early interoperability using a limited subset of pre-standard SAML. Kudos to Don Bowen, Hal Lockhart, and everybody else who thrashed through all the low-level federation issues, from an integration standpoint.
• Business and practical realizations of this based on incentive or economic impact: Stay tuned to Liberty Alliance for federation implementation and policy guidelines. The pivotal year for them was 2003, when it became clear that the industry needed them for this role, on an ongoing basis, and they could gracefully hand off standards development to OASIS. I was delighted to play a teeny-tiny part in consulting to them in the beginning, during my Burton Group years. Kudos also to Dan Blum.
It’s risky to lose your self-identification as an analyst. That’s why the blogosphere is so invaluable. Stay the same, in the game. Stay yourself, keep your health. Weathering desertion requires self-assertion. Continuous re-insertion.
See you one of these days. I don't recall actually meeting face to face at the July event. Sorry we couldn't sync live earlier this month. Rain check, OK?