Chapter 17. Interoperability Frameworks for Identity

Interoperability frameworks (IF) are nothing more than listings of accepted standards, both external and internal, that an organization uses. An IF is an essential prerequisite to enabling decentralized identity infrastructures that nonetheless work together to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. A good IF complements policies and provides a foundation on which they can be more effectively created and enforced.

An IF is created in accordance with the same governance procedures that were discussed in Chapter 14. This chapter will discuss the properties and content of a good interoperability framework.

Principles of a Good IF

An interoperability framework is a working document that systems architects, software developers, and others can use to guide their work. There are several significant principles that a good IF should follow.

Derived from current practice

A good IF is never created in a vacuum. Your organization is using particular standards and technology right now, and that’s what you should start with when developing your IF. Even though the first draft may begin as a ragtag collection of disconnected and conflicting standards, over time, the list can be refined and pruned. We’ll see later in this chapter how to use status designations in the IF to accomplish this goal.


A good IF will guide the engineering of the identity infrastructure. Just as with policy, this goal is achieved only if the organization ...

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