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:
- To find out what's up and coming in Policy Agent 2.2
- To find out about Sun Java System Access Manager Policy Agent 2.2 for Sun Java Web Server 7.0
- To get a sense of how open & transparent Policy Agent is, as part of the OpenSSO project
- 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.
- Go to https://opensso.dev.java.net/
- In the left column, select Browse CVS
- In the list of files that are displayed, select products/
- In the list of files that are displayed, select webagents/
- In the list of files that are displayed, select docs/
- 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?):
- Visit the
- In the left column, click
- Specify options (Examples are provided)
Click Generate Report
- View: Open Issues
- Type: DEFECT
- Containing: agent
- Rows: Subcomponent
- Columns: Priority
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 email@example.com 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.