Identity Manager 7.1 - What New Part 1 - HOD Replaced with Attachmate Libraries

Promised to get some new features out, so here goes. In no particular order, will review the new features in Sun Java System Identity Manager 7.1.

One of the most important new features is the updating of all host access resource adapters that previously used the IBM Host on Demand (HOD) libraries to access IBM style mainframe security systems.  This would be RACF, ACF2, Scripted Host Adapter, etc.

We had employed the HOD libraries to drive the Sun IdM resource adapters. You would install the HOD on the same machine or include the "freely" available habeans.jar (which has the following habase.jar, hacp.jar, ha3270.jar, hassl.jar, and hodbase.jar) so the resource adapter would be able to create a session and speak to the host at a level sufficient access to manage user accounts.

I put "freely" in quotes because IBM's documentation and licensing agreements encourage you to use these jars within your own application. But true to their heritage, once you use the HOD libraries for free, they try and nail you for licensing fees on the back end in production.  This is not a competitor going ouch, I used to be an IBM Websphere Platinum Partner.  Why do you think I work for Sun for the last 5 years.

What was happening, since we have been beating bloated Tivoli Identity Manager is the IBM sales team has turned on its own customers and try to rape and pillage them for using these jar files.  Their warped sense of humor had their sales reps interpret the license agreement, which says any account that access the mainframe through the jar files needs a license. Since Sun's IdM provisions all accounts into the host, IBM tried to enforce every account had to purchase a HOD license.  This is just plain stupid; only the admin account connected to the mainframe needs a license (read your own software agreement) not every user in the company.

This led to the problem in several accounts where IBM, who lost out to Sun on the IdM software, tried to "impart a license fee" (there are better words for it, but would you really do this to your best customers?) of literally millions of dollars in HOD's use. Often the HOD jars cost more than the entire IdM project.  How IBM customers can still remain loyal with such bad vendor behavior is a topic for another blog.

Anyway, we have a solution here at Sun. Instead of relying solely on HOD, we have come to an agreement with Attachmate to implement their WRQ libraries as an alternative to IBM's HOD. You will have to license the library through Sun even if you already have an Attachmate license, as we use a slightly modified version of the library for support purposes. Hey, thats the way the corporate suites and lawyers set it up.

Now all Sun IdM host adapters will default to using the Attachmate libraries instead of IBM's HOD, though they are still supported (through v9, seems IBM moved from the OHIO interface in v10); see...we try not to lock in our customers.  You will need to upgrade to Sun IdM 7.1 for full support, but there are no changes to your code, as the changes are done under the resource adapter covers.

If you are interested in more details, contact your local Sun software rep for more information.

IBM. Seems we like your loyal customers better than you do.


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Sean ONeill

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