Oracle has launched a set of products designed to work across all its identity management software, which it says will help companies simplify and improve security.

Along with rivals such as CA, IBM and HP, Oracle sells identity management systems, which are becoming ever more important in an age when companies must comply with complex financial accountability regulations, and a market is expected to be worth $4 billion in the next three years.

Oracle Enterprise Single Sign-On Suite works across all Oracle software, including databases, e-business products, and the PeopleSoft and Siebel applications it has acquired, as well as some non-Oracle applications. It works across mainframe, client-server and web-based applications.

The suite is aimed at the financial services, healthcare, government and telecommunications industries, as well as any organisation with legacy applications and compliance requirements, Oracle said. The goal of the suite, as with emerging single sign-on frameworks such as Higgins, is to keep users from having to remember separate passwords and authentication credentials for each system or application.

Password proliferation is considered a major security risk, since users tend to resort to insecure methods to remember their various logins - such as writing them down or using weak passwords.

The suite comprises five parts, a log-on manager, a password-reset tool, an authentication manager, a provisioning gateway and a kiosk manager, Oracle said. Because of heavy demand for Windows desktop password reset capabilities, the company is also making that part of the suite available on its own.

The suite is part of Oracle Identity Management, other components of which include Identity Manager, Access Manager, Virtual Directory, Internet Directory, Identity Federation and Web Services Manager. It is available immediately in the UK and elsewhere, and is priced per user.