Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 7:32 AM

Elegance, Symmetry and Cost

It seems that something that is more elegant, more symmetric would cost more -- we pay for elegance in the design of everyday products. However, I've observed that when it comes to systems, the opposite is true -- we pay a price in the long run when we build systems that are inelegant and asymmetric.

The architecture of digital identity is an example of this observation.

Because there has not been a standard in authentication/directory systems, when we try to unify an enterprise's identity systems (in projects such as SSO, directory consolidation, PKI), each integration point is unique -- and you cannot abstract this uniqueness by, for example, automating the integration. Asymmetric architecture. This helps to explain why so many digital identity projects end up being huge undertakings. Huge costs.

I believe elegance and symmetry are prerequisite characteristics for a successful digital identity architecture are.

Resources:
The Symmetry Principle (http://blog.onghome.com/2005/02/symmetry-principle.htm)

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