Monday, June 27, 2005

The context of "context"

HP's Archie Reed seems to have radar which catches every time I use the word "context" in the context of Identity Management. Reed, formerly of Trulogica (who went to HP when Trulogica was acquired) was always ready to point out the need for context in any IdM transaction. In his latest Blog entry, Reed takes me to task for using the term "context" in a different way [link not live before 6/28/05] than Trulogica did (and HP does).

There are, though, different "contexts" for the term context in IdM. There is the conext of identifiers, which Michel Prompt at Radiant Logic is always talking about and which I referenced in the recent newsletter cited above. There's also the context of transactions, an area that I've written about extensively (see, for example, "Identity and privacy: it’s all about context").

Reed's work on context (both at Trulogica and in the ebook "The Definitive Guide to Identity Management" overlaps both the transactional and the identifier uses of "context".

I think my use is the correct one as do both Prompt and Reed. And we may all be right - it's the context of "context" that determines which meaning we mean!

I'll be speaking on this very topic (the Context of Context) when I kickoff the Virtual Directory User Meeting taking place in conjunction with this year's Catalyst conference in San Diego. It's an interesting lineup, and hopefully Archie will be in town eary enough to join us!

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