Tuesday Aug 07, 2007

Software tech writers & media specialists: all together

From time to time, such as here, I've blogged about the Information Products Group (IPG). IPG includes technical writers and other media and tool specialists. There are a fair number of IPG members who blog and now you can see all their blogs in on blog, so to speak. Each of these blogs has a blogfeed into a single location. Such an aggregation of blogs, is referred to as a planet, and a new one exists for IPG. The planet is called Software Information since the group provides information about the various software products at Sun. Here's the link to planets.sun.com, which lists all the current official Sun blog planets.

So, if you want to get a sense of the various software products that technical writers and the like are blogging about at Sun, such as Solaris, NetBeans, Application Server, etc, then visit the Software Information planet and you'll see the most current blog entries from various IPG members. In the Software Information planet, in the right column, you'll see a list of the current blogs by IPG members. Actually, I have such a list in my blog, too. If you look in the right column of this blog, you'll see a heading labeled Other Writers & Such. Under that is an expandable folder labeled "+Software Related." Click that entry to get a list of all the blogs maintained by software technical writers and such. If you can click any of those links to visit the respective blog.

Monday Jul 09, 2007

Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 & OpenSSO

I blogged about the OpenSSO project a while back, thusly: Open Source: Access Manager and Beyond

Well, it's not going away. Open source at Sun is for real and identity management has been moving full force ahead into the open source community.

I'm not perfectly clear on the info in this entry. Therefore, I might come back here to change things if I have my facts wrong, which is quite possible. I could use the community's input here more than usual. Please comment on this blog if you think you can help. Thanks.

Introduction to Policy Agent 2.2 & OpenSSO

As goes OpenSSO, so goes Policy Agent: That somewhat cryptic sentence means a few things, but one thing it means is that new happenings with Policy Agent (same for Access Manager and Federation Manager) are showing up on the OpenSSO site first. Discussions, bugs ("bugs" are called "issues" in the OpenSSO project), hints and clues to what's coming up: if they're to be had at all, they are out there.

Let me go over some of the reasons why you might want to continue to read this entry:

  1. To find out what's up and coming in Policy Agent 2.2
  2. To find out about Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 for Sun Java Web Server 7.0
  3. To get a sense of how open & transparent Policy Agent is, as part of the OpenSSO project
  4. To learn how to get basic (unofficial) Policy Agent 2.2 install instructions for an agent before it's released (or even after it's released).

Being the technical writer for Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent, I tend to pay attention to agents in the Policy Agent software set. Well, they've been going open source for a little while now. It seems that all new agents will be part of the OpenSSO project.

So, new agents in the Policy Agent 2.2 software set are open sourced. Conceivably, you could contribute code to these agents. Even those of you who are not interested in contributing code to any of the agents in the Policy Agent software set, might have some interest in seeing what's going on with the upcoming agents.

What's Up and Coming in Policy Agent 2.2

If your question is, "Will a new agent be coming out for the Jin Web Server 12.7 (this is a fictitious web server name)?" Chances are that if the Jin Web Server isn't mentioned on OpenSSO, an agent in the Policy Agent software set will not be available for the Jin Web Server anytime soon. More specifically, if you see agent for Jin Web Server in the Nightly Builds, you'll know that the agent's release is probably imminent. Now, if you will be contributing code to the agents, then you'll love this stuff; but even if you aren't, there's info to be gleaned from this nightly build stuff, so you should at least "like" this stuff.

Policy Agent Builds on the OpenSSO Site

First let me run through how to view/access Nightly Builds in the OpesnSSO project.

The link to the homepage of the OpenSSO project is as follows: https://opensso.dev.java.net

On the Nightly Builds page, in the left column you'll see Nightly Builds under the Downloads heading.

On that page you'll see the following downloadable items:

  • Access Manager
  • Open Federation Library
  • Open Federation
  • J2EE Agents
  • Web Agents

My interest here is in the last two items, "____ Agents." If you click J2EE Agents from that list, you'll get a list of builds. It won't take too many clicks to see, at this point in time, that it's all for "Agent for Sun Application Server." You'll often see a "V9." So, I think it would be safe to say that an agent is coming up soon named something like Policy Agent 2.2 for Sun Java System Application Server 9.SOMETHING, not to be confused with "Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 for Sun Java System Application Server 9.0 /Web Services," which is an authentication agent specific to web services. So this will be another case where two agents have confusingly similar names.

If you were to look into Web Agents instead, you'd see a few web agents. For example, you could click "latest" on that page to see the latest builds. If you're doing this in July of 2007, one of the agents you should see is "Agent for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0." In fact, that agent is now available for download and I don't mean from the OpenSSO site. It's been promoted from the OpenSSO site (though, still available out there) to the official Sun download site, available from this page: Download Agent for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0

Getting Policy Agent Installation Notes From the OpenSSO Site

But wait a minute, I haven't finished the document for Agent for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 yet. I guess that just shows how effective this whole open-source thing is. They're getting software out so fast, I can't even get the related official documentation out at the same time. Well, I'm not really sure if that's what it shows, but I do know that the product is officially released and the document isn't.

Fret not (not that you were fretting), I'm going to explain how you can access basic (unofficial) Policy Agent 2.2 install instructions from the OpenSSO site. I'll be specifying Agent for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0, but it won't take much imagination to figure out how to get to the instructions for other agents as they become available.

By the way, moving Policy Agent 2.2 into the OpenSSO world, has had some affect (though relatively minor) on the installation and configuration tasks. Hopefully, it will all be reflected in the documenation; that's the intention, anyway.

Now, let me provide an example of how to navigate through the OpenSSO site to get to the basic installation notes for Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 for Sun Java Web Server 7.0 (other agents will be accessed in a similar but somewhat different way). This Web Server 7.0 agent example is especially useful (at this time) to those who want some sort of documentation on this agent before the official documentation is released.

  1. Go to https://opensso.dev.java.net/
  2. In the left column, select Browse CVS
  3. In the list of files that are displayed, select products/
  4. In the list of files that are displayed, select webagents/
  5. In the list of files that are displayed, select docs/
  6. Select the appropriate platform: Linux, SunOS, SunOS i86pc, WINNT

For both the INSTALL.txt file and the README.txt file, select the revision in the REV column. At this time, the most recent revision is 1.2. The README.txt file is for would-be agent developers. The document explains how to build and compile an agent that you download from the OpenSSO project, with libary and other dependencies described as well. The INSTALL.txt is targeted to people who retrieved the agent from the OpenSSO site. However, the document could be used, in an unofficial capacity mind you, for an agent, for example Agent for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0, downloaded from the official Sun download site.

Though, I've provided the navigation above to these files, the following are direct links to the 1.2 revisions of the README.txt and INSTALL.txt files associated with Agent for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0:

More About Policy Agent and the OpenSSO Project

As more agents get developed through OpenSSO, there will be a greater need to get involved with the OpenSSO project to follow an agent that is of interest to you. This is a good thing. You can track agents better in OpenSSO than those developed prior to OpenSSO because it's open. Now, you have more ways of discussing issues and questions that come up around Policy Agent. You also can track issues (or "bugs" if you prefer that term, but I'm calling them "issues" from here on out) that are filed against an agent.

Viewing Policy Agent Issues in the OpenSSO Project

Can I get a little help here? Please add a comment if you can. It would be great if the community can assist here. Are people looking for issues related to Policy Agent in the OpenSSO project. If so, what works for you?

Issue Tracker is the tool used to file and track issues in the OpenSSO project.

I did the following to search for Policy Agent related issues in Issue Tracker (of course, pick the options that fit your situation. Any tips or suggestions here?):
  1. Visit the OpenSSO homepage.
  2. In the left column, click Issue Tracker.
  3. Click Reports.
  4. Specify options (Examples are provided)
    • View: Open Issues
    • Type: DEFECT
    • Containing: agent
    • Rows: Subcomponent
    • Columns: Priority
  5. Click Generate Report
    You'll see a list of subcomponents. One subcomponent is J2EE agents and one is Web agents. The issues are listed by priority. You can click the number of Total issues for a subcomponent or the number of issues at a certain priority. The following link shows the page generated when one selects the options shown above: An example report, where the goal is to list all Policy Agent issues.

Discussing Policy Agent Amongst the OpenSSO Community

You can get info in a number of ways, as listed in the left column of the OpenSSO homepage under the heading Discussions. There's a also a Discussions web page that provides a bit of a description of the various discussion types. Here's my take on these discussion types:

  • IRC Channel: I don't know much about IRC. The link didn't work for me in the Firefox browser. However, it did work in Mozilla. Nothing was going on at that time. So, I don't know much about IRC.
  • Mailing Lists: There are quite a few mailing lists. In my humble opinion users@opensso.dev.java.net is going to be the most used one. The description is "A general discussion list for the projects end users." I visited the "View mailing list archive" link. From there, I clicked around and saw that Policy Agent issues are discussed, mixed in with other topics.
  • Wiki: Well, there's something about an OpenSSO Setup out there. It mentions Apache agent. So, there's that. I don't have anything else to say about that.
  • Forums: At this time, the click you make into "Forums" basically just gives you the following description: "General discussion on opensso not covered by other forums." Actually, I've added a link to the OpenSSO forum in the right column of this blog. Anyway, back to the OpenSSO site, if you click General you'll see lots of "Subjects," some of them are about Policy Agent. This is good stuff.

Wednesday May 09, 2007

JavaOne, Customers, Documentation, Software

I haven't even gotten to JavaOne yet, but I've already made contact with a Sun customer who has Sun JavaTM Enterprise System deployed at his organization. Some key software components of interest for him are Sun Java System Access Manager, Sun Java System Portal, Sun Java System Application Server and the Communications Suite.

So, let me provide a little background:

In yesterday's blog entry, I talked about JavaOne. I also included a bling-thing. That badge-looking thing is called "My QuickConnect Card." If you click it, it will bring you to my JavaOne profile. JavaOne attendees should have a username and password they could log in with from that page.

About the first thing I did after logging in was that I looked at the "View All Groups" page. I eventually came across the group "Sun Java Enterprise System Users." The description of this group was right up my alley. Here it is:

The biggest issue we've had is finding others using the same platform. I was hoping to find others using Sun Portal Server 7 as our deplyment platform for portlets and Sun Access Manager 7 as our Single Sign On and Sun Application Server 8 as the J2EE stack. I'd enjoy meeting others to talk about experiences.

Well that's great! I'd like to be a fly on the wall of any such discussions. Since I'm a technical writer of Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent documentation, the issues with Sun Access Manager 7 as the Single Sign On and Sun Application Server (since there's an agent from the Policy Agent 2.2 software set for it) are of interest to me. So, I'd like to hear where the documentation is right and wrong in that regard. The problem is that there are so many groups that it's hard to find any group at all and nobody signed up for it (well, besides me).

I'd like to think that the reason nobody has signed up for it is because they didn't know about it. Here it is a five day event and there's all this social software set up for interactions and such. Just like everything these days. It's so much info, it's too much info. Anyway, I sent an email to the group owner. He sent me an email back expressing a lot of his thoughts and experiences on Sun Java Enterprise System software.

I found it to be fantastic information: issues with patches, documentation issues, the cheatsheets he's come up with and more. Wow! All the things I should be hearing about.

In his email he also mentioned the Communications Suite and load balancers and other specifics about his organization's deployment. Okay, now we're talking: real world depolyments.

I want to hear more. I'll see if I can hook up with him today. If any other JavaOne attendees are interested, find and sign up for the "Sun Java Enterprise System Users" group.

Okay, so it's off to JavaOne!

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.

Thursday Apr 26, 2007

Various Bloggers, Various Views: Sun Software

I am involved in an effort to facilitate blogging at Sun, especially for my group, the Information Products Group (IPG).

Basically, IPG is involved in putting together information products. The group is made up of many subgroups, including technical writers and other media and tool specialists.

We've tried to get all of us IPG members to add our blog info to tables so we can all tell who in IPG is blogging. I'm adding those tables to this blog entry, so now everyone can tell who in IPG is blogging and what they're blogging about. I suspect even more IPG members blog, but not everyone has added their info.

Take a look. What you'll find in these blogs is a lot of interesting ways of communicating about various Sun software products.


What follows are two lists of sun blogs that are maintained by Information Product Group (IPG) members, both individual blogs & group blogs.



Blog Name & Link

Blog Description

Barkodar, Sherry

99 Sec Demo and News

I try to make and expose NetBeansEntPack related docs, Simple, Short, and Cool.

NetBeans Enterprise Pack 99 Sec Demo, showing what can be done with the NetBeans Enterprise Pack tools in 99 Second. It help readers get to the point fast.

99 Sec Sun News is a summary of the latest Sun News. And More 99 Sec.

I also post my tutorial drafts/cookbooks which I get a lot of hits and feedback

Craig, Mark

Margin Notes

More about Directory Server and OpenDS: a public, searchbotted spot on the web serving as the virtual margin of directory documentation.

Before my time, people sent the docs out in binders, then shipped replacement and errata pages. This is an attempt to reproduce that to some extent.

Davies, Paul

A Technical Writer Writes

A blog about technical writing, working in the open, project Glassfish, and anything else that catches my interest.

Domenichini, John

Identity Writer

Mostly Sun, Mostly product: Access Manager and Policy Agent.

My blog is about Identity Management Software from Sun Microsystems and from a technical writer's point of view. There's a strong focus on Policy Agent software (which I write about) and Access Manager software.

Evans, Ian


Concentric circles: the tech industry, technical writing, Java EE & GlassFish, our tutorials, frog pictures, colophons.

Franklin, Chris

Frank Dog Blog

N1 SPS product info currently, Sun Connection product info going forward. Plus music reviews, baseball ramblings, ruminations on new authoring strategies, and whatever else comes to mind.

Kasper, Paul

Paul@Sun: Musings about my life at Sun

Random thoughts about my journey into the Web 2.0 world and information architecture in general.

Keith, Brian

Dox Tox

Sun Cluster documentation, Solaris documentation, documentation in general, and whatever else happens to appear in my crosshairs.

Olson, Michelle

OpenSolaris Docs

OpenSolaris documentation community, Silicon Valley OpenSolaris User Group, concerts in San Francisco.

Sciallo, Joseph


Reporting on all that's relevant in the Comms Suite blogsphere, from news, Comms 101, upcoming releases, tips and tricks, and behind-the-scenes admissions of what's really going on.

Sriram, Anjana

Anjana Sriram's Weblog

Mostly Sun, my experiences as a program manager but there's a reasonable chance that my blog would include personal thoughts and my interests.

Subramaniam, Ragunath

Ragunath Subramaniam's Blog

My blog discusses about Tips'n'Tricks for Web Server, Sun Tech Days experiences and all about my screencast.

Teger, Michael

Technical Writing Gossip

Information on Access Manager, Federation Manager, and OpenSSO with some links to a few of my favorite things.

Vaidyanathan, Vasanth

Vasanth Vaidyanathan's Blog

This blog focuses on no particular topic. Just random thoughts!

Weber, Sue

Openly Blogging

I initially began to blog as program manager for Open Solaris documentation. I have since moved on to support the the SOA-BI writing teams and related projects. I blog about program management, software infrastucture, open source, and life/work issues.

Wielenga, Geertjan

Geertjan's Blog

Mainly focused on whatever new thing I have learned about Java programming, mostly in relation to NetBeans IDE and the NetBeans Platform. Occasionally random ruminations of a haphazard and unfocused nature.


Key Member(s)

Blog Name & Link

Blog Description

Lang, Hanan and Davies, Paul

Application Server Docs

Gather and discuss information about the Application Server.

Peters, Frank and Fischer, Uwe

OpenOffice.org TNT

Tips'n'Tricks for OpenOffice.org and StarOffice. Stuff you don't find in the docs (yet).

Zakhour, Sharon

The Java Tutorials' Weblog

News and information about the Java SE Tutorials, which can be found at http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/

There it is! See anything you like?

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 docs.sun.com 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, http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/coll/1322.1.

Friday Apr 06, 2007

So many access managers, so little time

If you want to learn a lot, fast, about what's available on the market for access management software products, two words, Burton Group. Access Manager this, Access Manager that, and Access Manager the other.

Image from Burton Group Web Site

What's My Point of Reference?

Again, I'm a technical writer for Sun Microsystems. I write about Sun Java System Access Manger, specifically the agents; by that I mean the Access Manager Policy Agent software set. Of course, the Burton Group has done research on Sun Java System Access Manager, but they've done research on several access managers (if I can be so bold to call them “access managers.”) The Burton Group calls the market for this product “Web Access Management Market.” If you want to make a competitive analysis, Burton Group is a good place to start. One thing I've learned in life, you can't be all things to all people. None of these Web Access Manager systems or WAMs, as Burton Group is calling them, is going to fit everyone. So, while Sun Java System Access Manager is obviously the best (a little humor), there's going to be some corner case (more humor) where it isn't the best choice .

Who/What is the Burton Group?

They provide research services in various areas. My interest is in the following area: Identity and Privacy Strategies Coverage Areas

It turns out that I have full access to all of Burton Group's research but, much to my dismay, it's not because I'm so charming. I work for Sun Microsystems and Sun has an annual subscription with Burton Group. That's the way it works. Your company has an annual subscription, you get everything. Your company doesn't have an annual subscription, you get a few things here and there. One can do a guest log in. Then you can get something. I have no idea what that will get you, but something free anyway.

I actually contacted Burton Group to ask if people could buy a research paper here or there from them. In a word, “No!” Now, I could just attach all the cool research papers I got right here in my blog, but I might go to jail: a lot of downside, not much upside.

The good thing for me is that they were the sweetest people in the world. My first thought was “Wow! Sun must be paying lots of money for this annual subscription.” But then I don't know. Usually, you can't even buy customer service like that. Still I'm not letting down my guard. As I've said before, “I guess I don't trust anybody...”

All the same, I think they go a long way to make things right. This is from their Web site:

Q: What is Burton Group's vendor-independence policy?

A: At Burton Group, we take pride in our vendor independence. More than 80 percent of Burton Group's customers are enterprise organizations, and our singular commitment to be an unbiased advocate for the enterprise customer guides all of our work.


Burton Group does not publish vendor-sponsored research of any kind. Since the company's founding in 1990, we have never published any vendor-sponsored research. Likewise, Burton Group covers relevant vendors and products without regard to whether vendors subscribe to or use our services. In all of our endeavors, we maintain independence from vendor agendas, providing unbiased assessments of markets, vendors, and products. In keeping with its mission, Burton Group provides technically in-depth, independent research and advice for the enterprise technologist.

Who Did the Research on the Web Access Management Market?


It was all done by one person, Mark Diodati. You can see by his bio that he worked at a very high level for CA (Computer Associates – it isn't Computer Associates? Everything seems to be just CA now.) for 15 years. Anyway, one of the research papers is about CA SiteMinder. I think it's natural for me to question a former CA VP reviewing a CA product. Back to my “I guess I don't trust anybody” quote. Still his writing comes across painfully objective. So, five brownie points for that. It would seem hard to find an expert on WAM products who didn't actually somewhere in the past work with one WAM product more than the others.


I wouldn't normally correct an error I've made in my blog, but Mark Diotadi himself added a comment pointing out an error I made that changes my outlook a bit. Mark didn't work at CA for 15 years. At the time, his bio showed 15 years experience in information security in general. His Bio now shows 16 years total experience. Somehow, I jumped to the conclusion that he worked at CA the entire time, even though his bio mentions other companies, such as RSA. In his comment, Mark breaks the time down a little more specifically as such:

"I worked at CA for two years. I also worked at RSA for six years, and as you point out they have a WAM product as well."

Now, if we can just get IBM, Oracle, and Sun to each hire him for two years, we'll really be on to something.


Another thing about Mark that I found was that he sometimes contributes to the Burton Group Identity Blog, such as this entry: http://identityblog.burtongroup.com/bgidps/2007/03/the_latticework.html. I like that entry because it points out how confusing it all is. Does identity management really have to be this complex? It seems the answer is “Yes, for now at least!”

Okay, What 's the Research Already?

I'm talking about five papers that each have these labels:

  • Identity and Privacy Strategies

  • In-Depth Research Product Profile

The specific titles are as follows:

CA SiteMinder v6 SP5 (November 29, 2006)

Oracle Access Manger 10gR3 (December 06, 2006)

RSA Access Manager 6.0 (December 13, 2006)

Sun Java System Access Manager 7.1 (March 02, 2007)

IBM Tivoli Access Manager for e-business v.6.0 (March 26, 2007)

The section titles tend to be the same so it's relatively easy to compare one product to another. For example, there's a section titled “Bottom-Line Assessment.” That's broken into two sections that pretty much say:

Things about this WAM product that might influence you to buy it

Things about this WAM product that might influence you to buy another WAM product

Each paper includes pricing information, a graphic of the architecture, and a lot of other things. Another reminder: I write about Access Manger Policy Agent, which is a policy enforcement point (PEP). Therefore info about PEPs (and there was a decent amount) was really good for me. I have a better sense now about how other WAM products handle the PEPs. There's some variety there. And each method has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Where To Go From Here?

I'm not sure what's next. From these five papers, one could definitely make it even easier to compare these products by coming up with even more charts, tables, and graphics. A lot of the hard work has been done. Soon, I'm going to contact Burton Group again to talk to their experts. Apparently, I can do that. I can have “dialogues” with Burton Group experts. I keep thinking that they're going to figure out that I was accidently added to the wrong list and then they're going to make me give back everything I've already learned

Now, I don't know nothing about nothing. But I can tell you this, if you're ever in the market for a WAM product, make the sales/marketing/engineering reps, Sun's and/or whoever else's, do a proof of concept. Because this stuff is complex.

Okay, you got anything else needs reading? Cuz I'm on a tear!!

UPDATE: JUNE 1 - I have a more recent entry on Burton's coverage of the WAM market here: Understanding the Web Access Management Market.

Tuesday Feb 27, 2007

Where the cool people go on Sun.com

This is probably rather common knowledge, but I didn't know it. I started at http://technorati.com/, but ended up at http://www.alexa.com.

Apparently Alexa provides traffic rankings and must somehow provide this information in conjunction with Technorati.

Anyway, according to Alexa the traffic at http://www.sun.com/ breaks down as follows:

  • java.sun.com - 56%

  • sun.com - 14%

  • onesearch.sun.com - 4%

  • developers.sun.com - 4%

  • docs.sun.com - 3%

  • blogs.sun.com - 3%

  • sunsolve.sun.com - 2%

  • gceclub.sun.com.cn - 2%

  • bugs.sun.com - 1%

  • central.sun.com - 1%

Accurate or not accurate? I have no idea. What's being masked by these statistics? I have no idea. I don't know a lot.

So, being a blogger and a technical writer, I see that sites I regularly contribute to (docs.sun.com and blogs.sun.com) get about 6% of the total traffic. That's encouraging. I figured it was about 2%. However, it seems that java.sun.com is the place to be.

Thursday Oct 19, 2006

About This Blog

My name is John Domenichini. I'm a technical writer at Sun Microsystems. The Identity Writer label I'm using is supposed to be clever. Part of my identity is that I'm a writer. Moreover\*, I'm a technical writer for identity management products. Ahgh, never mind (Did I spell Ahgh right?).

Specifically, I write about Sun JavaTM System Access Manager Policy Agent, which by no surprise is related to Sun JavaTM System Access Manager, which by possibly mild surprise is part of Sun JavaTM Enterprise System.

Are you actually reading this alt tag, which accompanies an image of Sun Java Enterprise System packaging? That's wild!

This blog is a work-in-progress. It will definitely focus on identity management products. There will probably be a tremendously strong focus on documentation. When I say, "a focus on documentation," I mean both the actual documents about Sun Microsystems software products and sometimes the products and processes involved in creating those documents. One might expect that the software product documentation I blog about will be relatively closely related to the software products for which I write documents. If you can understand that prior sentence, good job. While some of the sentences in this blog might be funky, I really do try to keep the writing in my documents to the point. There's not a lot of joking around in them. I think it's best that way.

Anyway, I'll probably figure out what this blog is about as I go along. I can imagine that at first I'll often want to write about blogging. Since I'm new to blogging, I'm not familiar with the mechanics of it. And I'm not a mechanic. So, it's an open book, so to speak. I'm not really sure if that expression applies here, but it's got the whole documentation-book connection going on.

I know that at some point I'd like to investigate Policy Agent software at a micro and macro level. Therefore, sometimes I'd like to look into the details of the product, perhaps looking at details of the properties file. At other times I'd like to look at the big picture. Therefore, I might want to look into how the Policy Agent 2.2 software set works with Access Manager 7.1 and how they both work with Sun Java Enterprise System and how it relates to web services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This blog might truly end up being a log; basically, a journal where I'm talking to myself, or I might be able to pose questions and get thousands of responses. Actually, two responses might be overly ambitious. But who knows what the future holds. So much to learn, so little time.

Back here on Earth, I'm a technical writer of Policy Agent Software. The Policy Agent documentation link is back there several words from here.

I'm responsible for all those books listed out there at that link. If you have anything positive to say about my documents, go ahead. No, I'm just kidding. Go ahead and say anything you want about my documents. Well, not anything. There are certain rules of conduct and such. Okay, I'll see you in the funny papers. I'm not really sure if that expression applies either. Actually, I've never understood that expression. I like it, though. This "About This Blog" section might change. Don't be offended. But, if enough people are offended by this section, I'll definitely change it, and quick, too!

\*The use of the word "moreover" is a clear indication that the person writing is supposed to be a writer. The use of the asterisk is another indication. Spelling out a-s-t-e-r-i-s-k (instead of just using the \* symbol) is yet another indication. Even the overuse of font options, such as variation in size, use of bold, italics, and color and (the most egregious offense of all) the use of an image that barely relates to the text are all clear indications of a writer with an identity crisis who's basically just saying, "No really, I'm a writer!"

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