The field of identity management is enduring a bit of split personality these days.

On one hand, business software giants are gobbling up small companies that provide ID management solutions, to cobble together comprehensive offerings compliance and IT departments can tailor to their specific needs. At the same time, the overall need for ID management is growing ever more sophisticated, giving rise to powerful tools like federation and enterprise role management.

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance has led auditors to insist on proof of who accessed which system at what time. Then there are the more prosaic reasons driving companies to pay more ...