The following is a short description on where the ForgeRock OpenAM product originated and its ties with the now defunct Sun Microsystems and its new owner Oracle.

ForgeRock OpenAM is part of their I3 Open Platform Strategy, which also includes other Open Source products being developed by ForgeRock, such as a pure Java Directory Server (OpenDJ) and ForgeRock OpenIDM allowing for automating user identity life-cycle management in real time, including the management of user accounts and access privileges in applications; local or cloud based

Please see the ForgeRock OpenAM site for the latest OpenAM features and news http://www.forgerock.com/openam.html

ForgeRock OpenAM is a very mature identity and access management solution in the open source community. Due to its long history in the enterprise market under different guises and owners, it is feature laden and incorporates many facilities lacking in rival products.

In principle, anyone can download the whole source code tree and customize the content to do whatvever they want.  However, this is mostly done to track down bugs which can be incorporated into future source code trunk releases maintained by ForgeRock employees.

ForegRock OpenAM is formerly based upon Sun Microsystems Identity Manager product and open-source code that Sun Microsystems released in the late 1990′s. When Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems in the late 2000′s, the product was rebranded and copyrighted as Oracle OpenSSO. Oracle still actively supports OpenSSO for customers who have either the previous Sun installation or the newer Oracle installation, although it has removed the open source nature of the product. You can see the Oracle OpenSSO page here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/testcontent/opensso-091890.html

The ForgeRock OpenAM product is now source-code divergent from the original Sun Microsystems/Oracle OpenSSO solution although visually, architecturally and internally the two products still remain close friends.

However, as time progresses, the ForgeRock OpenAM product is being actively developed and enhanced with new functionality by ForgeRock employees and their partners, whereas Oracle have put Oracle OpenSSO into bug-fix/maintenance mode and not much in the way of advancements is being made by Oracle.  This is due to Oracle already having a rival product suite, including Oracle Access Manager (OAM), Oracle Identity Federation (OIF) and Oracle Internet Directory (OID) which they prefer to push to customers as part of their large Oracle Identity Management range of software: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/id-mgmt/overview/index.html

Of course the Oracle products come at a price. For instance, the list price of a 1 CPU perpetual license for OIF is just over £23000 (September 2012 – https://shop.oracle.com/pls/ostore/f?p=dstore:product:649625789287780::NO:RP,6:P6_LPI:4509535218961805719957). If you want to add more CPU, which you surely would, the costs keep going and, of course,  support costs are extra….

You can download, install and have enterprise class, production quality identity and federation capabilities using the ForgeRock I3 product suite, including OpenAM at a license cost of….. FREE…not bad eh?  [Ok, nothings free, you will need to pay for hardware, hosting, that extra days employees holiday you save on licensing etc but you get the idea...]