IBM has added a new single sign-on tool to its Tivoli software range to make life easier for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to link their websites with those of partners and customers.Single sign-on tools aim to save users the trouble of remembering separate passwords for each service they use, and simplify life for systems administrators by using a single identity store to control access to multiple services. Using Federated Identity Manager Business Gateway, an SMB\u2019s employees, customers and partners can log on to the company\u2019s website and then have that site confirm their identity when they connect to applications on related websites, without the need to log in again. The new software is a simplified version of IBM\u2019s existing federated identity management software, making it quicker and cheaper to deploy, the company said Monday. One advantage of the system for small businesses is that they can use the software to federate their systems with those of their larger partners, leaving the lion\u2019s share of the administration to their partners, IBM said.IBM is competing with suppliers such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and RSA Security (now part of EMC) to offer federated identity management tools. But IBM is also cooperating with those companies, and others, to develop standards to enable communication between them\u2014a necessity if identity management is to be truly "federated." The Tivoli software uses security assertions markup language (SAML) version 1.0 and 1.1, Web Services-Federation and WS-Trust to communicate with identity providers and service providers. Based on IBM\u2019s WebSphere Application Server 6.1, Federated Identity Manager Business Gateway can connect to applications built with Java 2 Enterprise Edition or Microsoft\u2019s .Net.The software will run on IBM\u2019s flavor of Unix, AIX 5.2 or 5.3; on Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 for x86 servers and for IBM\u2019s S\/390 mainframe; on Sun\u2019s Solaris 9 and 10; and on Microsoft\u2019s Windows Server 2003, IBM said. Pricing is per user or per server, according to IBM.-Peter Sayer, IDG News Service (Paris Bureau)Related Links:\n\nIBM, Novell Team to Fuel SMB Linux Adoption\n\nIBM Unveils Servers Running Intel Quad-Core ChipsCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.