Identity Manager: Neogent's Rapid Deployment Tool
By steffo on Apr 26, 2007
Sun acquired Neogent a couple of months ago. Neogent has an excellent tool which can ease deployment of IdM at customers. Velocity Identity Deployment Tool (VIDT) is a code generator that is able to generate code on the basis of use-cases. The implementor selects a use-case (e.g. create user) and an actor (e.g. a resource like HR Active Sync) and VIDT generates all the code that is required for a synchronization of the HR resource (e.g. SAP ot PeopleSoft) and IDM.
As with every tool VIDT has it's pros and cons. On the pro side we have
- repeatable process
- can be used by IDM newbies
- produces a documentation (which can be used as a start for an appropriate documentation later on)
- can export IDVT projects to CBE (common build environment) projects (very important if you're an experienced IDM code warrior)
- can easily compete with Novell's and Oracle's build-in tools
- can be extended to incorporate other use cases
And then there's certainly a downside of such a tool: like many tools, it tries to embrace the unexperienced user and loses the professional one. It's like YaST (anyone remembering this?) or Windows network configuration (what the hell is the difference between an office network and a home dial-up access?).
Is VIDT really another YaST? Not quite. VIDT has it's own 'logic' but fortunately, all it does it to produce XML files that can be read and modified if needed. Also, IDVT projects can be exported to a CBE structure (if you're not familiar with CBE, check out https://idm-cbe.dev.java.net). This allows a transition from a code base that was generated by a rapid deployment tool to a code base that can be used for a long term (> 6 months) projects.
VIDT currently aims at the following project phases or users:
- proof of concept (PoC)
- small projects
- initial project phases
- enablement of unexperienced users
My impression is that VIDT will currently not be used by experienced implementors throughout a longer project. The reason is that an experienced coder is faster using NetBeans or Oxygen than using VIDT. Does that mean that VIDT is useless for larger projects? No. VIDT can be used for rapid prototyping. Moreover, VIDT can be extended to incorporate additional uses cases (e.g. move and rename a user) and it depends on the community to share those new plugins.