Quest Software has announced the acquisition of BiTKOO, a provider of solutions for fine-grained authorisation and entitlement management in enterprise IT environments.

According to Quest, the move will strengthen its Quest One Identity Solutions by providing easier accountability and greater transparency for enterprise, cloud and SaaS-based scenarios through externalised authorisation.

The BiTKOO Keystone technology will be included in Quest One identity solutions to specifically offer fine-grained authorisation using the XACML standard for in-house applications, and it will enable consistent management of access to diverse applications, web services and data regardless of operating system or application framework.

Quest also claimed that it will offer fine-grained access control for consistent, dynamic authorisation across SharePoint and exclusive row- and column-level security for an SQL Server without the need to write custom code.

Nick Nikols, vice-president and general manager of identity and access management at Quest Software, said: “BiTKOO is the leader for authorisation and entitlement management, which is recognised as the cutting edge in the identity and access management (IAM) market.

“Their products are a tremendous fit for Quest One as we strive to simplify IAM for our customers. This investment will make Quest the first large IAM vendor to offer organisations the capability to define granular access controls for users based on user attributes, the resource and the context of the access request.”

Ian Glazer, research director on the identity and privacy strategies team at Gartner, said: “With this latest market movement, there are three things to note.

First, this acquisition is a sign that externalising authorisation is becoming more mainstream. Second, it will be interesting to see what Quest does with the core of BiTKOO's technology. Beyond simply offering Keystone as an authorisation service, Quest could do some interesting things by more closely tying the IAG capabilities acquired from Voelker.

“Third, Quest is assembling a formidable brain trust. Doron Grinstein, BiTKOO's co-founder and CEO, is a sharp guy, whose ability to explain EAM via Visio is unrivaled. He and his team join Nick, Eckhard, Jackson, and Jonathan. Quest better stock up on dry erase markers and buy more whiteboards – the brainstorming sessions this crew will undoubtedly have in 2012 will be epic.”