Friday Apr 27, 2007

Deploying Sun Java System Access Manager: Must Know Info

There are two deployment example documents in the Access Manager documentation collection that you absolutely, positively need to know about.

My advice is, "Don't get caught up in specfics." I mean, deployment examples almost never match exactly what you're trying to do. All the same, these deployment examples bring you through the whole gambit. You can see it all from beginning to end. From a complex Access Manager deployment (including high availability and more) right on through the deployment of a service provider site and an identity provider site to form a federated circle of trust.

No matter, how simple or complex your deployment is, these examples will be of use to you. Spend a total of 15 minutes looking at these two documents and you'll walk away with a pretty clear understanding of what's involved. It takes some of the intimidation out of the task for sure. I used to think that a Sun Java System Access Manager deployment was complex until I saw how other players in the Web access management market do the same things (see my entry on this), and I realize that, in comparison, deploying Sun Java Access Manager is a walk in the park, especially with these two documents to guide you:

Deployment Example 1: Access Manager Load Balancer, Distributed Authentication, and Session Failover:

This is the Third Edition of "Deployment Example 1." The book is updated for Access Manager 7 Patch 5, and includes corrections and other information based on user feedback. This book can be used as a stand-alone document for deploying Access Manager features most commonly encountered during customer deployments.


Deployment Example 2: Federation Using SAMLv2:

"Deployment Example 2" is published for the first time. Used together with its companion "Deployment Example 1," this book provides detailed instructions for an end-to-end deployment of a federated environment.

Both of these detailed documents were written by Technical writer Cina Gariaga. That's not her/his real name. I had to change it to protect the innocent, namely me and other Access Manager technical writers. We don't want the competition to know who wrote these deployment examples because they'd surely try to steal him/her away. Furthermore, various engineers, who will remain anonymous, contributed extensively throughout the process.

Personally, up until now, I've contributed nothing to these two literary masterpieces. That's why I'm blogging about them. Now I can say that I was involved with both of these guides.

Being the technical writer of Policy Agent software documentation, I'm happy to see both web agents and J2EE agents represented. Basically, you name it, it's in there: load balancers, application servers, the kitchen sink, web servers, etc. There are directory servers strewn evenly across the landscape. Well, a picture speaks a thousand words, so let me grab one of the images from the first example. I'll leave you with this image of the system architecture to ponder the possibilities and to be enlightened.

Wednesday Apr 18, 2007

Access Manager 7.1 Documentation by Topic

Previously, I dropped (what we tech writers call) "the AM 7 doc center" into my blog, here:

Sun Java System Access Manager Documenation Center.

Well, I'm doing it again, but with the Sun Java System Access manager 7.1 Documenation Center. This is a topic based list of links to various Sun Java System Access Manager and Policy Agent docuuments.

There's something about the way documents have to be delivered and presented on that makes doc centers so bulky to get to while the path should be so sleek and effortless. Thus (I like "thus." Thus is cool.), I'm putting this next version of the doc center in my blog, too.

The location of the real AM 7.1 doc center is here:

Sun Java System Access Manager 7.1 Documentation Center

Sun Java System Access Manager 7.1

This page contains links to commonly referenced information in the Sun JavaTM System Access Manager 7.1 documentation collection.

Documentation Center

Getting Started

Overview of Access Manager Concepts

Planning Your Access Manager Deployment

Configuring Access Manager After Installation

Implementing Access Manager Deployment Design

Administering Realms

Administering Data Stores

Configuring and Developing Access Manager Authentication

Configuring and Developing Access Manager Policies

Installing and Using Access Manager Policy Agents

Managing User Sessions and Single Sign-On

Configuring and Managing Access Manager Federation

Using Access Manager Authentication Web Services

Using Access Manager Data Web Services

Using the Access Manager Discovery Service

Using the Access Manager SOAP Binding Service

Administering SAML

Using the Access Manager Logging Feature

Using the Client SDK

Updating and Redeploying Access Manager WAR Files

Customizing Access Manager

Using Access Manager Code Samples

Using Access Manager Command Line Utilities

Tuning Access Manager and Components



Note –

There is troubleshooting information in each Policy Agent 2.2 Guide specific to the supported Agent platform. See the Policy Agent collection,

Wednesday Mar 21, 2007

Access Manager, Federation Manager, Policy Agent: Questions/Forums

While most of you who might be interested in a forum for Access Manager, Federation Manager, and Policy Agent already know about it, I'm sure a few people don't and there are probably a few things that even experienced forum visitors could learn. First, here's the link to this forum:

The title of the forum reads like this:

Developer Forums

Directory Servers / Identity Management - Sun Java System Access Manager

The “Directory Servers” part is a bit confusing, but that's the organizational category it falls under (mine is not to wonder why).

Anyway, it's a forum; it looks like a forum, acts like a forum. Not much I can add about that. A visit speaks a thousands words. If you have questions about Access Manager, Federation Manager, or Policy Agent software, go there, register (free), and ask your questions. You might find that you get your questions answered.

We're always looking for ways to gather details about what information you are looking for and what went right or wrong in your search. Of course, it's a triple edged sword. Well, I don't know if it's actually triple edged, but it's darned sharp and dangerous. What I'm getting at is, add a comment to this blog entry if you couldn't find what you were looking for about Access Manager, Federation Manager, or Policy Agent in the forums or anywhere else. No guarantees that you'll receive an answer, especially quickly, but it's possible. The more obvious it is that the documentation is lacking, the more likely we'll provide an answer to your question.

The forums are all a part of the Sun Developer Network (SDN) site and include software and hardware. There are lots and lots of SDN forums. One could start here:

Besides forums, there's a lot of information out on the Sun Developer Network and it is NOT only for developers. A lot of non-developers would be interested in some of the info out there.

There's also a Sun Developers Network Channel, which is now accessible as a blog. Now, that IS pretty strongly developerish. It includes lots of videos of interviews with (would you believe it) Sun developers:

Consider yourself inforumed.


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