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  • Almost all applications already implement authentication and authorization mechanisms so almost no simplification is applicable in a common case. It may even be quite difficult to replace existing mechanism with access management which may significantly complicate the system.
  • Access management system assumes an existence of a single unified identity repository. But that is seldom the case unless the repository is a result of other identity management mechanisms (e.g. provisioning).
  • Access management system knows very little about internal structure of the applications. Therefore the ability to decide and enforce authorization is severely limited. E.g. the access management system can decide if a user can access application A or not. But it cannot decide if the user is authorized to modify property foo in a record number 1234 in that application. Therefore applications must very often implement their own additional authorization mechanisms. For that reason the applications must maintain their own user records (accounts) or must have back-end access to the identity repository.
  • Access management can provide authorization services only if a user is accessing the system. While that is usually the case there is still significant number of cases when an operation has to be executed on behalf of the user while user is not online. E.g. scheduled tasks, asynchronous invocation, automated reaction to external messages, etc. Access management technology cannot handle these cases by its own.

Access management is an umbrella term for quite a wide range of mechanisms. Some access management systems deals only with authentication or single sign-on (SSO), others also deal with authorization, some are focused mostly on web applications while other work only in enterprise environment where client machines can be strictly under control. Individual access management systems provide partial solutions to the identity management problems and they almost always must be combined with other identity management technologies.

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