Archive for category Identity

OpenAM universal gateway presentation at RMLL 2011

Last month, just before the French national day, I was in Strasbourg to participate in the RMLL.

Photo by Sebastien Bahloul

On the occasion, I did a presentation in the security track, about OpenAM Universal Gateway, another piece in the complex puzzle of Web Single Sign-On. The Universal Gateway solves an important problem in Access Management: allowing single sign-on for applications that are usually left out because they are based on legacy or non standard based technology.

The Universal Gateway comes from ApexIdentity, an acquisition that ForgeRock did in the spring. It’s been released in open source as part of the OpenAM source code repository.

The presentation I did was in French, and so are the slides.

You can find more about the Universal Gateway on ApexIdentity web site, and soon on OpenAM documentation.

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The 3rd international LDAP Conference is coming this year

The conference is happening once every other year, so with the plethora of conferences here and there, it’s quite easy to forget about it. But LDAPCon 2011, the 3rd international Conference on LDAP has been announced and will take place in October 10-11 2011 in Heidelberg, Germany.

LDAPCon brings together vendors, developers, active LDAP practitioners, system administrators to share their experiences about service operations, interoperability, application development and discuss LDAP at large, in a friendly and passionated athmosphere. It’s a unique occasion to discuss with the developers of most LDAP related projects, seed them with new ideas, learn the under-documented tips and tricks about your favorite server or library, or exchange with other users and system administrators about the best practices around LDAP directory services and applications.

A Call for Papers have been raised. You have up to July 8th 2011 to submit your talk. You can find all details, important dates or topic ideas on the LDAPCon CFP page.

Don’t miss the conference, it’s only happening every 2 years. I hope I’ll see you in Heidelberg.

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OpenAM – The Book

For many years, I’ve been working in collaboration with the Sun access management product team,  as it started working on the Directory Server Access Management Edition (DSAME) product that years later became Sun Access Manager and OpenSSO. And now that I’m at ForgeRock, I have the pleasure to keep working with some members of that team, on OpenAM, the continuation of the OpenSSO open source project.

My knowledge of the product is rather shallow as I’ve worked on several case studies or issues related to customers and LDAP directory servers, but I never had a chance to deploy a service for production use or even extensive testing.

So when I learnt that Packt Publishing was releasing a book on “OpenAM”, writen by Indira Thangasamy, an ex-colleague of mine and manager of the Quality Assurance team, I asked if I could get a copy for review, which Packt kindly agreed to.

I haven’t finished the book yet, as it’s over 250 pages of content, covering all aspects of the OpenAM software, from its history, its components and services, to its integration with Google Apps or SalesForce… But from what I’ve read (about 2/3 of the book), I can say that the book is easy to read and well organized. It helps a beginner to grasp the concepts and starts using the product, thanks to the detailed explanations and diagrams. As the chapters advance and dive into specific technical areas, Indira uses real-world examples and simple code or commands, followed by detailed description to illustrate what OpenAM does or does not, giving a comprehensive picture of the fully featured product.

Some of the features of OpenAM are not covered in the book, like Federation or the most recent Entitlement Services or Secure Token Services. I hope they will be covered in a revised edition or may be another book, as these features are becoming more used and important to enterprise security and access management.

In summary, if you’re about to, or have just started to engage on a project with OpenAM, this book will help you understand the technology and ease your ramping up. But even for the more experienced users of OpenAM, the book contains full of details, tips and example that will save you time and make you more efficient.

You can find the book on Pack-Publishing web site or Amazon.

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New releases of OpenAM and OpenDJ !

It’s the happy hour, with a double release day at ForgeRock.

OpenAM 9.5.2 has just been released, along with the J2EE Agents 3.0.3 and are now available for downloads from ForgeRock. You can find the release details in the Release Notes.

OpenDJ 2.4.1 has also been released today. The patch release can be found on the Downloads page in various forms: Java WebStart Installer, Zip package or SVR4 package. The Release Notes have been posted on the Documentation wiki.

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The First OpenAM Book

OpenAM Book CoverThe first book on OpenAM, the open source web single sign-on and federation project, will be released very soon (it should be Jan 21st 2011), and it’s been written by one of my former and well esteemed colleague Indira Thangasamy.

I haven’t reviewed the book yet, but I’m expecting to have a review copy in my hands pretty soon (thanks again Indira and Packt Publishing).

However, if you want to get a feel of the book content, Indira has posted a very detailed table of content of the book, and some background information about it. I’m really looking forward reading the book and discovering some hidden gems of OpenAM. Also, this will help me to rethink the way the Configuration Store and User Store are considered and help improving the integration with OpenDJ, the Open source LDAP Directory services in Java, currently used as the embedded configuration store.

The book is already available for Pre-Order.

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OpenSSO Community changes

Hubert LVGI just saw that my colleague Hubert Le Van Gong has been elected to replace Pat Patterson as the OpenSSO Community Lead.

It is sad to see Pat leaving Sun. Pat has been a source of inspiration in my role as OpenDS Community Manager and we’ve been collaborating in numerous occasions.

Hubert definitely has the skills and the experience to lead the OpenSSO community and oversee all Sun Identity related open source projects. Another good thing is that Hubert and I are both working out of the Grenoble Engineering Center, in France. So I’m expecting some tighter collaborations between the projects and the communities.

Welcome on the community leadership side, Hubert !

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OpenDS, OpenSSO and Identity at large

On the first week of May, I was in Munich for the European Identity Conference hosted by Kuppinger-Cole.

This was my first participation and I was delighted to meet with several of the experts in the area as well as some OpenDS customers or users, whom I’ve mostly "known" only through blogs or emails. I had discussions with Kim Cameron, Jackson Shaw and James McGovern. We shared tea with Felix Gaehtgens and Prateek Mishra. The conference was also the opportunity to talk with and listen to some of my Sun colleagues that I don’t get to see often like Fulup Ar Foll and Eve Maler. I must say that both of them did pretty interesting presentations.

Eve

Eve’s keynote on the first day of the conference brought the case for "permissioned data sharing" and was very well argued. It was the first time that I heard about User Centric identity and VRM tied together and even with a proposed solution.

Fulup

On Wednesday, Fulup did a very thought provocative (and fast forward) presentation about Digital Identity in the cloud, where he explained the identity management concepts are inherited from a centralized vision of the world and they would not fit well with the cloud, nor scale to the internet. He proposes to look at how mobile operators are solving massive identity scale and to leverage existing SAML2 and Liberty defined services to build the "lazy" identity architecture.

On Thursday I was to take part of a panel discussion on the subject of "The Identity Bus" or the future of Directory Services (should I say Identity Services ?), moderated by Felix Gaehtgens. The panel was an opportunity to see again Steve Shoaff, CEO of Unboundid but previously my manager, and to meet both Dale Olds of Novell and Prateek Mishra of Oracle. I don’t know if we’ve been able to give a good idea of what this "Identity Bus" would look like, but it’s definitely "something" in between applications and the data layer, and will probably use a set of protocols like SAML2 and XACML. After the panel, James McGovern asked me when OpenDS will support IGF and CARML. Since both are abstractions and APIs for applications to express their need in term of identity related data, I don’t think they are appropriate for an LDAPv3 directory server. But I do see a layer on top of Virtual Directories or Directories that is able to consume those and translate them into appropriate functions.

Right after that Panel, Mark Craig was taking part on a panel discussion on Virtual Directories, along with Sampo Kellomäki of Symlabs, Michel Prompt of Radiant Logic and Keith Grayson of SAP.

On the Tuesday, Pat Patterson and Daniel Raskin hosted the second OpenSSO Community Day, and it was a great success, with over 50 attendees, a day packed of presentations with a very good balance of users and deployers talks vs Sun employees’ talks.

Like in New-York, I talked about OpenDS, its goals and roadmap and why it’s the perfect companion to OpenSSO as the Users identity store. Most of the presentations from the OpenSSO Community Day have been posted on the event wiki page. And if you could not make it to New-York or Munich, we’re having a 3rd OpenSSO / OpenDS / Identity Connectors Community Day in San Francisco on Sunday May 31st at the Moscone center, starting at 1pm. The event is free, but please RSVP. And I hope to see you there.

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And congratulations to Pat, Daniel and the whole OpenSSO team, for the Fedlet, winner of the "Best Innovation Award".

Overall, I found the conference really good and interesting and it helped me to put back the work we’re doing in the Directory Services engineering team, in the larger picture of Identity management.

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