Monday, February 1, 2010

First Open Source Reference Implementation of IGF 1.0

Over the past few months, a good deal of progress has been made around IGF and the open source implementation around it. In particular, last fall, Liberty Alliance ratified the IGF 1.0 specification as final. In mid January we published ArisID 1.1, the first open source implementation of IGF 1.0. Finally in late January, we checked in the first implementation of an open source provider based on OpenDS 2.2 (more on that below).

ArisID is an API for accessing and managing personal or identity related information using CARML as an XML data model. In addition to being useful from a privacy perspective, CARML enables important new developer features:
  • The ability to automatically generate a data model in the form of Java beans.
  • The ability to use sophisticated data providers that can connect applications to personal information sources using multiple protocols and virtualization.
If the principles of using an XML data model sounds familiar, it should. ArisID follows very similar architecture to Java Persistence Architecture. The key difference is that use of the CARML data model does not assume the pre-existance of a particular database or LDAP schema. Instead, a developer is able to create an application specific data model and write code as if the data model were a straight forward database. Then, at runtime, the provider layers of the API can be configured to connect to many different types of data repositories and network configurations including multiple directories or databases. With little effort, developers are able to create sophisticated applications that have much greater deployment flexibility in the types of data sources and repositories they can support, including remote and third-party sources.

Starting with the Oracle Fusion Middleware 11gR1(PS2) release, Oracle began to integrating this technology into its own products, setting the stage for a new level of support for open protocols and scalable enterprise deployment scenarios. For more information on how Oracle is using IGF and ArisID in 11gR1, check out the whitepaper, "Oracle Identity Management 11gR1".

As mentioned earlier, ArisID depends on "provider" modules to do the work of implementing data model requirements as expressed in application specific CARML declarations. At present there are now 2 implementations available:
  • The Oracle OVD Provider for ArisID "Preview" is the first provider to support the ArisID 1.0 API. A developer preview is available here. Expect an update in the next quarter regarding ArisID 1.1.
  • A brand new OpenDS 2.2 provider for ArisID is now available in the openLiberty sourceforge project repository. The new OpenDS provider allows developers to use OpenDS instead of OVD as a repository for applications using ArisID 1.1. The OpenDS Provider for ArisiD the first fully open source ArisID Provider implementation. For more information consult the readme file contained in the OpenDS Provider for ArisID distribution zip.
Project Aristotle is now moving forward with efforts to support integration into popular IDEs. As always, new contributors are always welcome, please see the web site for more information. Also, feel free to subscribe to the igf-dev mailing list.

Finally, thanks to the OpenDS team (Ludovic, Bo, Matthew) for their assistance in helping to get the first open source implementation of a provider for ArisID done. In some respects, the Oracle/Sun merger delayed a lot of this work, but now that it is done, we can get back to work and contribute more to our respective projects. As Nishant Kaushik says, Sun + Oracle = Exciting Days Ahead! By the way, click here for webcasts about Fusion Middleware and in particular Identity Management.

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