Written by Eleanor Meritt, Vice President of Engineering
To say ‘the IT landscape has changed’ would be a massive understatement. We all see it happening around us. But change isn’t always a bad thing. Like most technology companies, Oracle is in the process of transformation. It’s a good transformation; the kind that leaves us more agile and better able to adapt to our customers’ needs.
In Identity & Access Management (IAM), for example, Oracle has made a lot of progress in recent years to adapt to environments where SaaS applications are more common, upgrades are expected to be quicker and easier, and user experience drives success. But we’re far from finished. Our work has only just begun. And I’m excited for what’s ahead.
We’re getting closer to the release of version 12c PS4 of the Oracle Identity Management Suite. This release will improve the platform’s underlying architecture to support easier migrations and quicker upgrades. It continues our focus on providing IAM solutions that support both cloud and traditional on-premise environments. And it improves the User Experience for both IAM administrators and business users. Here are a few highlights:
- Oracle IAM Suite 12c PS4 provides improved automation for database management. For optimal performance, large-scale deployments typically require some amount of DBA maintenance activities. PS4 introduces out-of-the-box utilities to make your DBA’s life easier by automating some of the commonly expected tasks.
- Oracle Identity Governance 12c PS4 introduces advanced schema discovery, enabling application owners to onboard applications quickly and with ease. The discovery process provides a quick understanding of application objects and relationships. Not only does this reduce administrative effort, but it enables easier and quicker response to regulatory requirements.
- Oracle Access Management 12c PS4 delivers password-less authentication leveraging device- or OTP token- based authentication. It also introduces full support for OpenID Connect. This allows for application migration to the cloud and native support for cloud applications. This also enables advanced features such as connected sessions, deployment across multiple data centers, and admin session termination. In addition, PS4 supports webgate-to-OAM communication over HTTP via REST; this helps improve performance and stability while reducing operational costs for cloud applications.
- Oracle Directory Services 12c PS4 brings virtualization enhancements in Oracle Unified Directory (OUD) and improved REST/SCIM interfaces. Several new proxy plugins and performance improvements will enable easier migration to OUD from Oracle Virtual Directory (OVD) and Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition (ODSEE). Oracle Internet Directory (OID) is also being updated for improved replication and resiliency.
Looking forward to future releases of 12c, we have big plans for the IAM suite.
- With the explosion of entitlements across extended enterprise environments, it’s no longer a valid strategy to avoid Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). We are developing new Role Mining functionality as part of Oracle Identity Governance (OIG). This new functionality leverages statistical analysis to enable customers to automatically discover, understand, and manage roles, which then allows for easier management of access across the organization. Intelligence and automation in role mining are becoming increasingly important as organizational complexity increases. This new RBAC functionality will work with existing Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) already available in OIG.
- Organizations across all verticals are migrating toward multi-cloud IT environments. They want IT workloads to be ready to run in any data center, whether in the cloud or on-premises. We’re working to validate the Oracle IAM suite for deployment to container-based environments (Docker). This simplifies deployments with cluster management, stability and scale.
- Today’s IT environments are diverse with applications residing across on-prem data centers and multiple cloud platforms. As regulations continue to increase in quantity and complexity, it’s critical to provide regular oversight on access. Traditionally, IAM vendors have focused on governance of user access, which is certainly critical, but Oracle is innovating to deliver a certification process for policies to boost controls. Requirements may change over time. The policies implemented on day one of your IAM deployment may not remain relevant. Your organization should periodically review your access policies which may include role-based access, segregation-of-duties, and more. This will help ensure that the IAM solution is delivering the right results and continues to meet expectations.
- Given the complexity of today’s IT landscape, IT organizations are stretched thin and may find it difficult to support complex IAM programs. Oracle is expanding its business-user interface to enable broader self-service for application and business-line owners. In addition to simplifying app on-boarding, Oracle is working to enable self-service management of roles and access policies and governance of applications – all without requiring IT assistance.
Oracle is a consistent leader in technology innovation. We have a significant advantage in IAM because we can leverage a complete stack of technologies from hardware and operating systems to middleware to advanced and emerging technologies. We’re currently evaluating how to best leverage Oracle’s broader suite of technologies to better enable IAM. Think cloud technologies, machine learning, big data, analytics, autonomous, blockchain, chatbot, etc.
What does this mean for you? We’re working to develop a more agile development environment to support quicker release schedules. We’re revising and developing roadmaps to better align to customer expectations. And we’re looking to leverage key innovations in other technology areas. Oracle is already a strong leader in IAM with a track record that goes back almost 20 years. But things are about to get even better. Stay tuned to this blog series for future updates, and join us at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco this September where we’ll share more on Oracle’s IAM strategy, roadmap and capabilities.
The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.