That previous rant was of course me going off half cock as usual. A bit more digging turned up the Passport SDK documentation. In the appendix at the back is a section on installing Passport support on non microsoft servers. It appears that somewhere there is a set of code that ends up as Apache .so, CGI and NSAPI code for Solaris, Red Hat Linux, FreeBSD and HP-UX. The objects are accessed from C++ CGI or Perl ASP (whatever that is). And Passport support is to v1.1 not v2.1.

Now most of this is going to be pretty much impossible on hosted servers, so I'm not going to pursue this any further for the moment.

And I'm left with a nagging doubt about the protocol that's actually used between the Server Passport code and the Passport Nexus (MS term for the Passport centralized authority server). Was it too much to hope that this was a documented SOAP interface? Or can we speculate that MS wouldn't have been able to secure this interface sufficiently using SOAP in it's current state?

Now I'm definitely not saying that MS MUST do better than this in supporting non-MS environments. They're a commercial organization and must do what they see as best for their business interests. But let's call a spade, a spade. Passport may be a bit more open than previous functionality but it's not open in the sense of a documented and supported SOAP interface, callable from other platforms. And I suspect that this story will be repeated in many other areas of .NET MyServices.

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[ 06-Mar-02 12:36pm ]