Enterprise management software company BMC Software is continuing its identity-management buying spree. The company is buying OpenNetwork Technologies, a maker of web access management and single sign-on technology, for US$18 million in cash.

The acquisition of privately held OpenNetwork will add technology for securely managing federated user identities and web-based applications to BMC's identity management product suite. The news is the latest evidence that BMC is making Web-based identity and access management a top priority, and comes just two months after BMC said it would purchase Calendra, another identity management vendor.

OpenNetwork makes software for managing user identity over the Web. The company's Universal Identity Platform (Universal IdP) product integrates with existing LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directory services, such as Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory. It is designed to work with Microsoft's .NET Framework and .NET Web Services, permitting web applications and other resources to be secured and managed without needing to duplicate network policy and user identity information, according to OpenNetwork.

BMC plans to use the OpenNetwork technology to complement its other identity management products, allowing customers to deploy technology that adapts to existing business processes, rather than requiring them to modify those processes to work with BMC's platform, according to a statement attributed to Somesh Singh, vice president of BMC's identity management business unit.

BMC will acquire 100 percent of OpenNetwork's assets in the transaction. About 40 OpenNetwork employees will be added to BMC's Identity Management Business Unit when the transaction is complete, BMC said.