Oracle Identity Manager platform automates access rights management, security, and provisioning of IT resources. Oracle Identity Manager connects users to resources and revokes and restricts unauthorized access to protect sensitive corporate information.
This chapter consists of the following sections:
Oracle Identity Manager provides a flexible Deployment Manager utility to assist in the migration of integration and configuration information between environments. The utility exports integration and configuration information as XML files. These files are then imported into the destination environment, which can be staging or production. You can use the XML files to archive configurations and maintain versions, as well as replicate integrations.
The Deployment Manager provides you with the flexibility to select what to import and export. It also helps you to identify data object dependencies during both import and export steps. This flexibility enables you to merge integration work done by multiple people and to ensure the integrity of any migration.
You can deploy Oracle Identity Manager in single or multiple server instances. Multiple server instances provide optimal configuration options, supporting geographically dispersed users and resources for increased flexibility, performance, and control. The Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server model of Oracle Identity Manager also provides scalability, fault tolerance, redundancy, failover, and system load balancing. As deployments grow, moving from a single server to a multiserver implementation is a seamless operation.
To lower cost, minimize complexity, and leverage existing investments, Oracle Identity Manager is built on an open architecture. This allows Oracle Identity Manager to integrate with and leverage existing software and middleware already implemented within the IT infrastructure of an organization. For example, if an implementation requires integrating with an existing customer portal, then the advanced APIs of Oracle Identity Manager offer programmatic access to a comprehensive set of system functions. This allows IT staff to customize any part of its Oracle Identity Manager provisioning implementation to meet the specific needs of the organization.
Oracle Identity Manager enables you to define unlimited user organizational hierarchies and roles. It supports inheritance, customizable user ID policy management, password policy management, and user access policies that reflect customers' changing business needs. It also helps you to manage application parameters and entitlements, and to view a history of resource allocations. In addition, it provides delegated administration with comprehensive permission settings for user management.
Oracle Identity Manager contains a Web-based customizable Oracle Identity Manager Self Service that helps you extensively in user management.
Oracle Identity Manager contains a customizable Web-based, user self-service portal. This portal enables management of user information, changing and synchronizing passwords, resetting forgotten passwords, requesting available applications, reviewing and editing available entitlements, and initiating or reacting to workflow tasks.
Oracle Identity Manager simplifies the change management required in a dynamic organization. Oracle Identity Manager supports abstraction, which separates the execution logic separate from the application of that logic. For example, if you define the logic for a task, then the abstraction layer does not combine the logic with the actual execution of that task.
The abstraction layer allows the execution logic to be changed and refined without affecting logic or definitions that still apply. This also provides an iterative provisioning approach that allows IT to implement a provisioning system to fit existing requirements and to ensure that this system can evolve to meet future business needs. As user needs and business policies evolve, outdated execution logic can be "unplugged" from the provisioning instance for replacement with new execution logic. This provides the most cost-effective mechanism for handling change management and supporting the ongoing evolution of processes and systems for the organization.
The J2EE application server model of Oracle Identity Manager provides scalability, fail over, load-balancing, and Web deployment. It is based on an open, standards-based technology and has a three-tier architecture (the client application, an Oracle Identity Manager supported J2EE-compliant Application Server, and an ANSI SQL-compliant database). Oracle Identity Manager can provision LDAP-enabled and non-LDAP-enabled applications.
Identity management is a key part of any audit and compliance solution. Therefore, auditing and compliance capabilities must be integrated into the core identity management architecture; they should not be add-on utilities for the identity provisioning platform or separate products. Oracle Identity Manager is a fully integrated platform for identity provisioning and identity audit and compliance. An integrated application means that when a resource is brought under its management, the connection can be leveraged for both provisioning and compliance use, avoiding duplication of integration cost.
Oracle Identity Manager provides real-time reporting and up-to-the-minute status reports for all processes with full state information. The complete online analytical processing (OLAP) capability of Oracle Identity Manager supports the most complex reports, analysis, and dynamic queries.
The audit and compliance features need not be restricted to reporting. With these features, no additional product integration effort is required to enable corrective actions as part of an audit and compliance process. For example, when using the attestation feature of Oracle Identity Manager, a reviewer's reject action can directly trigger the workflow to send notification or deprovision a user. An integrated platform provides easy access to identity and transaction data, enabling an organization to control its auditors without lengthy reporting lag time.
Oracle Identity Manager incorporates leading industry standards. For example, Oracle Identity Manager components are fully based on a J2EE architecture, so customers can run them from within their standard application server environments. Complete J2EE support results in performance and scalability benefits while aligning with existing customer environments to leverage in-house expertise.
Oracle develops its identity management products on a foundation of current and emerging standards. For example, Oracle is a Management Board member of Liberty Alliance, and incorporates Liberty Alliance developments in its solutions. Oracle participates in the Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC), which operates under the auspices of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).
With Oracle Identity Manager, you can create business and provisioning process models in easy-to-use applications. Process models include support for approval workflows and escalations. You can track the progress of each provisioning event, including the current status of the event and error code support. Oracle Identity Manager supports complex, branching and self-healing processes, and nested processes with data interchange and dependencies. The process flow is fully customizable and does not require programming.
Attempting to support all systems with hand-coded adapters is impractical. Oracle developed an automated tool for adapter generation. This tool, the Adapter Factory, supports a wide range of interfaces and virtually any application or device. These adapters run on Oracle Identity Manager server, and do not require agents to be installed or updated on target platforms. In situations where the target application resource does not have a network-enabled interface, you can create remote integration by using UDDI/SOAP-based support. With the Adapter Factory, integrations that take months to implement can now be accomplished in a few days. Numerous adapters can be generated instantly. With the Adapter Factory, you can keep existing integrations updated, and you can support new integration needs quickly. Oracle Identity Manager has the ability to run programs on external third-party systems by using the remote managers.
Oracle Identity Manager enables you to package new processes, import and export existing ones, and move packages from one system to another.
Figure 2-1 illustrates Oracle Identity Manager architecture.
Oracle Identity Manager Administrative and User Console is a Web-based thin client that can be accessed from any Web browser. This client provides user self-service and delegated administration features that serve most of the users of Oracle Identity Manager.
Oracle Identity Manager Design Console provides the full range of Oracle Identity Manager system configuration and development capabilities, including Form Designer, Workflow Designer, and the Adapter Factory. You can access Oracle Identity Manager Design Console by using a desktop Java client.
Oracle Identity Manager Design Console is implemented as a Java Swing client that communicates directly with the Business Services layer in the application. It also supports a highly sophisticated delegated administration model, guaranteeing that users can only work on those parts of the application configuration that they have been given privileges to.
See Also:Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager and Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for details about using Oracle Identity Manager Administrative and User Console and Oracle Identity Manager Design Console
In many enterprises, there is a requirement for the provisioning system to support a custom developed client. Some of the requirements that drive this are:
Integration of the client into an existing enterprise portal and adherence to enterprise portal standards
Creation of custom flows for user interaction
Creation of custom pages built around unique requirements from the provisioning system
To support customization, Oracle Identity Manager exposes the bulk of the necessary functionality via its published public APIs. The client environment for Oracle Identity Manager is customizable via Java APIs.
The Business Services Tier is implemented as an Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) application. The core functionality for Oracle Identity Manager platform is implemented in Java using a highly modular, object-oriented methodology. This makes Oracle Identity Manager flexible and extensible. The Business Services Tier for Oracle Identity Manager includes the following services and capabilities:
The Core Services that comprise the core of the business features offered by Oracle Identity Manager, such as the User Management Service, the Policy Management Services, and the Provisioning and Reconciliation Services.
The API Services that describe the APIs supported by Oracle Identity Manager that allow custom clients to integrate with Oracle Identity Manager. This includes a rich set of APIs that expose the business functionality of Oracle Identity Manager for use by custom clients, in product customization, and in plug-in and adapter development.
The Integration Services based on the Adapter Factory and Connector Framework, which dynamically generates integration code based on the metadata definition of the adapters.
The Platform Services that are crucial to the business features offered by Oracle Identity Manager, such as the Request Management Service, the Entity Manager Service, and the Scheduler Service.
The API Services describe the APIs supported by Oracle Identity Manager that allow custom clients to integrate with Oracle Identity Manager. This includes a rich set of APIs that expose the business functionality of Oracle Identity Manager for use by custom clients, in product customization, and in plug-in and adapter development.
The API Services consist of:
SPML APIs: Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) is a standard for managing the provisioning and allocation of identity information and system resources within and between organizations. Oracle Identity Manager supports a set of SPML-based Web services that expose identity administration functionality to the clients. The APIs provide support for:
Adding, modifying, and deleting identities
Adding, modifying, and deleting roles
Adding and deleting role memberships
These APIs support requests coming into Oracle Identity Manager for administration purposes, which is distinct and separate from SPML as the protocol used to integrate with provisioning targets.
EJB APIs: Highly granular access to the functionality of the platform is via a set of EJB. These session beans are the basis for functionality implemented in Oracle Identity Manager Web application clients. It is also the interface that custom clients can use to access Oracle Identity Manager capabilities.
A scalable and flexible integration architecture is critical for the successful deployment of provisioning solutions. Oracle Identity Manager offers an integration architecture for fast and low-cost deployments.
Oracle Identity Manager integration services provide all the components required to support the development, deployment, and maintenance of connectors. This includes entity management services, metadata management, code generation tools, and deployment tools. The integration services includes:
See Also:"Integration Solutions" for details about how to define adapters by using the Adapter Factory.
Oracle Identity Manager connectors are packaged solutions that are used to integrate with target applications for the purposes of managing identities in those applications. Examples of such target applications are Microsoft Active Directory or Oracle E-Business Suite. A connector can be predefined by Oracle for particular target systems or can be custom developed.
Because a predefined connector is designed specifically for the target application, it offers the quickest integration method. These connectors support popular business applications such as Oracle eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edward and SAP, as well as technology applications such as Active Directory, Java Directory Server, UNIX, databases, and RSA ClearTrust. Predefined connectors offer the quickest integration alternative because they are designed specifically for the target application. They use integration technologies recommended by target and are preconfigured with application specific attributes.
If predefined connectors does not use integration technologies recommended by target, then a custom connector can be developed. The Adapter Factory tool in Oracle Identity Manager Design Console provides a definitional user interface that facilitates such custom development efforts without coding or scripting.
A connector contains:
Multiple connector-specific Oracle Identity Manager entities such as resource objects, data forms, provisioning workflows, and adapters
Target-specific Java libraries that provide the underlying functions such as connectivity, authentication and user account management
Event triggers that wire provisioning operations to both identity profile changes and policy operations
The connector framework combines all of these components together into a functional connector that is run at appropriate times, either manually based on user interaction or based on system triggering. It defines the various operational triggers, policy triggers, and hooks that allow the connector operation to be tailored to specific requirements.
The Adapter Factory is a code-generation tool provided by Oracle Identity Manager. It enables an Oracle Identity Manager application developer to create Java classes, known as adapters. An adapter provides the following benefits:
It extends the internal logic and functionality of Oracle Identity Manager.
It interfaces with any software resource by connecting to that resource with the help of the API of the resource.
It enables the integration between Oracle Identity Manager and an external system.
It can be generated without manually writing code.
It can be maintained easily because all the definitions for the adapter are stored in a repository. This repository can be edited through a GUI.
A user in Oracle Identity Manager can retain the domain knowledge about the integration, while another user can maintain the adapter.
It can be modified and upgraded.
The Adapter Factory provides rapid integration with commercial or custom systems. Users can create or modify integrations by using the graphical user interface of the Adapter Factory, without programming or scripting. When connectors are created, Oracle Identity Manager repository maintains the definitions and creates self-documenting views. You use these views to extend, maintain, and upgrade connectors.
See Also:"Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager" for details about how to define adapters by using the Adapter Factory
To integrate Oracle Identity Manager with a target system that has no corresponding predefined connector, you can create a custom connector to link the target system and Oracle Identity Manager. If you do not need the customization features of the Adapter Factory, then you can create the connector by using the Generic Technology Connector (GTC) feature of Oracle Identity Manager.
You can quickly and easily build a basic connector without advanced features and customized behavior by using generic connectivity technologies such as SPML and JDBC. GTC is a wizard that provides an alternative environment for connector development to rapidly create all the necessary functional components that make up a target system connector in Oracle Identity Manager.
The reconciliation and provisioning modules of a generic technology connector are composed of reusable components that you select. Each component performs a specific function during provisioning or reconciliation.
The components that constitute a generic technology connector are called providers. Each provider performs a transport, format change, validation, or transformation function on the data that it receives as input. In other words, data items processed by a provider are moved to a new location, validated against specified criteria, or undergo modification in structure or value. Data sets describe data structures arranged in the form of layers, with data flowing from one layer to another during provisioning and reconciliation.
The GTC employs a Web-based graphical wizard that displays the data flows being defined within the connector. It stores in metadata all the configuration information about the connector so that it can reload the GTC view of the connector and enable ongoing maintenance of the connector in the same graphical environment. Because the GTC builds the connector by using the standard connector framework, the application developer can access the standard Oracle Identity Manager development environment and make further modifications to the generated connector. However, after the GTC-based connector has been customized in this manner, it can no longer be managed or maintained using the GTC.
See Also:"Generic Technology Connectors" for detailed information about the functional architecture and features of GTC
The Remote Manager is an Oracle Identity Manager server component that runs on a target system computer. It provides the network and security layer required to integrate with applications that do not have network-aware APIs or do not provide security. It is built as a lightweight Remote Method Invocation (RMI) server. The communication protocol is RMI tunneled through Hypertext Transfer Protocol/Secure (HTTP/S).
The J2EE RMI framework enables the creation of virtually transparent, distributed services and applications. RMI-based applications consist of Java objects making method calls to one another, regardless of their location. This enables one Java object to call methods on another Java object residing on another virtual computer in the same manner in which methods are called on a Java object residing on the same virtual computer.
Figure 2-2 shows an overview of the Remote Manager architecture.
Oracle Identity Manager architecture includes a request service that allows you to configure approval workflows. To deliver this functionality, Oracle Identity Manager uses Oracle Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Suite.
Oracle SOA Suite enables you to build service-oriented applications and deploy them to your choice of middleware platform. It consists of a number of components, but for the purposes of delivering comprehensive workflow capabilities, Oracle Identity Manager relies on the following components:
BPEL Process Manager: Oracle BPEL Process Manager provides a comprehensive solution for creating, deploying, and managing cross-application business processes with both automated and human workflow steps. It also provides audit trails for both completed and running processes, and process history that enables process improvement.
Human Request Service: Although the BPEL standard does not cover manual tasks, it supports asynchronous services. Therefore, the Oracle SOA Suite supports the Human Request Service, which is a manual task service, so that manual steps can be included in standard BPEL processes. Oracle Identity Manager Administration and User Console includes a task list that allows users to view and interact with assigned tasks being managed within the Human Request Service.
BPEL Designer: The Oracle BPEL Designer is available as a plug-in for JDeveloper and offers a visual design paradigm for creating and deploying BPEL-based processes.
Oracle Identity Manager provides an abstraction service on top of the SOA suite that optimizes and simplifies the interaction of users with the SOA suite. This service includes capabilities to register BPEL composites for use in Oracle Identity Manager, define parameterized variables for use in the BPEL and Human Workflow modules, and APIs that are used by the task list and custom development.
See Also:"Approval Workflows" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for information about workflows and BPEL composites.
The Request Service also provides the services used to raise and track requests in Oracle Identity Manager. A request allows a user to ask that an action be taken after obtaining the necessary approvals, and that a tracking record of the entire process and its status be maintained. The request can be for various types of actions that are defined as request types. The request types can be:
Creating, modifying, or deleting an entity
Enabling or disabling an entity
Provisioning a resource to a user or a set of users
Adding or removing an identity as a member of a role
The request service supports various types of requests and has the ability to accommodate multiple request types. Oracle Identity Manager provides a number of predefined request model that cover the most common use cases. The request service also provides support for request templates, that allow you to customize the request types for a specific requirement. In addition, request templates allow you to customize the request types for a specific requirement.
The request service defines the flow models by which data provided in a request flows through the various services in Oracle Identity Manager. This includes invoking approval workflows at the correct time, monitoring the status of the workflows, and running the request if approval is received.
Both transaction data and history data for requests is maintained, which supports audit and compliance requirements.
See Also:"Managing Requests"" for information about creating requests and perform request-related operations in the task list of Oracle Identity Manager Self Service
Oracle Identity Manager is a security product and requires a strong level of access control over what users can view and change in the application. To meet this requirement, customers must be able to define authorization policies that determine at runtime whether or not a particular action is allowed. This is controlled by the authorization service embedded within Oracle Identity Manager. The authorization service is built on Oracle Entitlements Server (OES), which is a sophisticated authorization product. OES enables centralized management of entitlements and authorization policies to granularly determine access to both application components and application business objects.
The OES architecture is made up of two major components. The administration application acts as the policy administration point (PAP) and is used to manage policy, configuration, roles, and entitlements. The second major component is the use of one or more Security Modules (SMs) that are stored in the application container. The SMs evaluate fine-grain access control polices at the policy decision point (PDP) and enforce it at the policy enforcement point (PEP). The SMs are also the integration point for access to external attributes that can be incorporated into the policy.
Figure 2-3 shows the architecture of OES-based authorization service:
Each time a privilege check is requested, the following takes place:
Oracle Identity Manager connects to the authorization service to prepare access decision for the operations performed on protected entities.
The service then finds and evaluates the policy or policies that apply to the resource.
All information required to evaluate a policy is collected by the Security Modules at run time.
If the policy references subject by role, all roles are evaluated and the access decision is made.
Oracle Identity Manager provides an abstraction service on top of OES that optimizes and simplifies the definition of policies in Oracle Identity Manager. This service includes a policy definition UI that allows the definition of authorization policies that are feature specific and support fine-grained controls for attributes and functions on entities such as users and roles. For information about the structural components of authorization policies and how to create and manage authorization policies, refer "Creating and Managing Authorization Policies".
The Plug-in Framework allows customers to easily extend and customize the capabilities of the out-of-the-box Oracle Identity Manager features. The features expose specific plug-in points in the business logic where extensibility can be provided. An interface definition accompanies each such point and is called the plug-in interface. Customers can create code that extends these plug-in interfaces and defines customizations based on their business needs. These plug-ins are deployed and registered with Oracle Identity Manager by using the Plug-in Manager. Oracle Identity Manager then incorporates the plug-ins into the feature processing from that point onward.
Feature developers do not have to keep a track of where the custom implementations are stored and how they are loaded. The plug-in framework supports loading plug-ins from the classpath, from the file system, and from the database.
See Also:"Developing Plug-ins" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for more information about the plug-in framework
An attempt to enforce good compliance practices is through the definition of Segregation of Duties (SoD) policies. SoD is broadly defined as a way of preventing a user from acquiring a conflicting set of entitlements. This conflicting set is also referred to as a toxic combination. An example of a toxic combination is that a person should not have the ability to create and approve the same purchase order. Enterprises often have business application-specific SoD engines that define and enforce SoD policies on the entitlements users have within those business applications. Examples of such SoD engines are OAACG and SAP GRC.
The SoD Engine Framework allows customers to integrate Oracle Identity Manager with their choice of SoD Engine to enable SoD checks at appropriate points in the request and provisioning process. Oracle Identity Manager can send a request for an SoD check to the SoD Engine through the SoD Invocation Library (SIL). SIL provides a common service interface to all supported SoD engines. The common service interface provides an abstraction on the business components within Oracle Identity Manager. As a result, SoD checks do not have to take care of the correct data formats required by the SoD Engine and also the interpretation of the results returned.
SoD checks can be run at various times in the provisioning lifecycle, such as during an access request, during the approval workflow execution, or during the provisioning execution. If a violation is detected, then the request or resource is marked as being in violation, and the approver or administrator is responsible for deciding whether to proceed or not. If violations are detected during request processing, then various approval workflows can be invoked that allow for higher levels of approval.
See Also:Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for information about SoD
Business systems frequently make use of scheduling systems, which are configured to run other programs at specified times. Scheduling systems run applications that generate reports, reformat data, or perform audits at regular intervals of time. Scheduling systems often run batch jobs or scheduled jobs that perform routine work automatically at a prescribed time.Scheduling systems are an integral part of any enterprise provisioning solution. Provisioning often involves tasks to be performed in a time-based manner. Some examples are:
Running a nightly job to reconcile all changes made directly on a managed application
Do escalations of assigned tasks that have not been handled within a specified time period
Execute requests at a specific time
Oracle Identity Manager platform includes the Scheduler to provide the scheduling capabilities necessary for enterprise provisioning requirements. This Service is managed as part of Oracle Identity Manager platform and not as an independent product. Figure 2-4 provides an overview of Oracle Identity Manager Scheduler architecture.
Key capabilities provided by the Scheduler service are:
The ability to create simple or complex schedules for running thousands of jobs
The ability to run the scheduling service as a clustered service to provide the necessary high availability capabilities including fail-over and load balancing
The ability to persist the job definitions for management and fail-over support
The ability to create, modify, enable, disable, and delete jobs and manage individual job runs by using an administrative UI
The ability to run a job in an ad-hoc fashion outside of regularly scheduled runs
The ability to manage errors and failures
The ability to maintain history of job runs, including statistics and results of these runs
The ability to manage the Scheduler service itself
"Managing Scheduled Tasks" chapter detailed information about the Scheduler service and creating and implementing custom scheduled tasks in the Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager
Oracle Identity Manager is driven by data and metadata, which provides flexibility and adaptability to Oracle Identity Manager functionalities. Oracle Identity Manager data tier consists of Oracle Identity Manager repository or database, which manages and stores Oracle Identity Manager data and metadata in an ANSI SQL 92-compliant relational database, and an optional LDAP Identity Store.
This section describes the data tier in the following topics:
Oracle Identity Manager repository is the authoritative store for the Who Has What, When, How, and Why data that is the core value of the identity administration and provisioning system. The data stored in Oracle Identity Manager database falls into the following broad categories:
Entity Data: Users, organizations, roles, role memberships, resources, provisioned resources
Transactional Data: Requests, approval and provisioning workflow instances, human tasks
Audit Data: Request history, user profile history
The database provides a scalable and redundant data layer to avoid downtime and performance issues. Reliability, recoverability, timely error detection, and continuous operations are primary characteristics of a highly available solution.
Oracle Identity Manager architecture relies on the corresponding capabilities provided by the Database Management System that is used with the product. These capabilities must:
Encompass redundancy across all components
Provide protection and tolerance from computer failures, storage failures, human errors, data corruption, lost writes, system hangs or slowdown, and site disasters
Recover from outages as quickly and transparently as possible
Provide solutions to eliminate or reduce planned downtime
Provide consistent high performance
Be easy to deploy, manage, and scale
Achieve Service Level Agreements (SLAs) at the lowest possible total cost of ownership
A broad range of high availability and business continuity solutions are available. You can find out more about maximizing database availability by using technologies such as Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) and Oracle Data Guard at the following Web site:
The rich set of data stored in Oracle Identity Manager repository can be viewed through detailed reports that support management and compliance requirements. Oracle Identity Manager provides support for data reporting through the use of Oracle BI Publisher, which is an enterprise reporting solution and provides a single reporting environment to author, manage, and deliver all of your reports and business documents. Utilizing a set of familiar desktop tools, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Adobe Acrobat, you can create and maintain report layouts based on data from diverse sources, including Oracle Identity Management products.
Oracle Identity Manager provides a set of standard Oracle BI Publisher report templates. However, you can customize each template to change its look and feel. in addition, you can create your own custom reports by leveraging Oracle Identity Manager database schema.
The logic underlying Oracle Identity Manager is metadata driven. The structural and behavioral aspects are described by using metadata. Oracle Identity Manager architecture relies on Oracle Metadata Services (MDS) to provide a unified store for metadata. This ensures consistent and reliable access to the metadata for Oracle Identity Manager and for the other Fusion Middleware components that it is built on. The same metadata that is used during the design phase of an application is used at application runtime through the metadata services layer. This ensures consistency through the lifecycle of Oracle Identity Manager, as shown in Figure 2-5. MDS also provides common administrative tooling for the metadata that can be used across various types of metadata stored in the common repository.
Key features and architectural principles of the MDS include:
Simplified resource management through a single, unified repository for all artifacts used by various Fusion Middleware components
Management of the metadata lifecycle for each artifact as it moves through the various stages of development, testing, staging, and production
Sharing and reuse of metadata across components
Categorization and reuse of artifacts, encouraging reuse, and promoting consistency
Versioning capabilities, which form the basis for various features
An upgrade-safe and layered customization mechanism through which metadata and application logic can be tailored per usage of the metadata
Advanced caching and assembling techniques coupled with configurable tuning options to optimize performance
Metadata accessed and managed via MDS can be in a file-based repository or a database-based repository. In Oracle Identity Manager architecture, the metadata is in Oracle Identity Manager database to take advantage of some of the advanced performance and availability features that this mode provides.
Oracle Identity Manager 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) provides the ability to integrate an LDAP-based identity store into Oracle Identity Manager architecture. In 9.x releases, Oracle Identity Manager identity store is in Oracle Identity Manager database. Therefore, Oracle Identity Manager integrates with LDAP as a provisioning target, or you can build custom integration between Oracle Identity Manager users and LDAP users. However, in 11g Release 1 (11.1.1), you can connect and manage an LDAP-based identity store directly from Oracle Identity Manager. Using this feature, you can use advanced user management capabilities of Oracle Identity Manager, including request-based creation and management of identities, to manage the identities within the corporate identity store.
In this deployment architecture, user identity information is stored in Oracle Identity Manager database to support the relational functionality necessary for Oracle Identity Manager to function, as well as in the LDAP store. All data is kept in sync transparently without the need for provisioning actions and setting up policies and rules. Identity operations started within Oracle Identity Manager, such as user creation or modification, are run on both the stores in a manner that maintains transactional integrity. In addition, any changes in the LDAP store made outside of Oracle Identity Manager is pulled into Oracle Identity Manager and made available as a part of the identity context.
See Also:""Integration Between LDAP Identity Store and Oracle Identity Manager"" for more information about LDAP store integration and configuration
Oracle Identity Manager is built on an enterprise-class, modular architecture that is both open and scalable. Each module plays a critical role in the overall functionality of the system. Figure 2-6 illustrates the system components of Oracle Identity Manager.
Oracle Identity Manager user interfaces define and administer the provisioning environment. Oracle Identity Manager offers two user interfaces to satisfy both administrator and user requirements:
Powerful Java-based Oracle Identity Manager Design Console for developers and system administrators
Web-based Administration and Oracle Identity Manager Self Service interfaces for identity administrators and users respectively
This section describes the following Oracle Identity Manager components:
Identity administration includes creation and management of identities in Oracle Identity Manager. Identities include users, organizations, and roles. Identity administration also enables password management and user Oracle Identity Manager Self Service operations. Identity administration is performed by using Oracle Identity Manager Administration and Oracle Identity Manager Self Service Web clients, and the SPML Web service.
Note:The identity administration tasks include, managing users, managing roles, managing organizations and managing authorization policies, which are explained in detail in this guide.
The provisioning transactions are assembled and modified in the provisioning module. This module maintains the "who" and "what" of provisioning. User profiles, access policies, and resources are defined in the provisioning module, as are business process workflows and business rules.
The Provisioning Server is the run-time engine for Oracle Identity Manager. It runs the provisioning process transactions as defined through Oracle Identity Manager Administration and Oracle Identity Manager Design Console and maintained within the provisioning module.
The audit and compliance functions include evaluating a person, organization, system, process, project, or product. This occurs by capturing data generated by the suite's workflow, policy, and reconciliation engines. By combining this data with identity data, an enterprise has all the information it requires to address any identity and to access a related audit inquiry. Audits are performed to ascertain the validity and reliability of information, and also provide an assessment of a system's internal control.
Reporting is the process of generating a formal document, which is created as a result of an audit. The report is subsequently provided to a user, such as an individual, a group of persons, a company, a government, or even the general public, as an assurance service so that the user can make decisions, based on the results of the audit. An enterprise can create reports on both the history and the current state of its provisioning environment. Some captured identity data includes user identity profile history, role membership history, user resource access, and fine-grained entitlement history.
The reconciliation engine ensures consistency between the provisioning environment of Oracle Identity Manager and Oracle Identity Manager managed resources within the organization. The reconciliation engine discovers illegal accounts created outside Oracle Identity Manager. The reconciliation engine also synchronizes business roles located inside and outside the provisioning system to ensure consistency.
If you want to load a large amount of data from other repositories in your organization into Oracle Identity Manager, then you can use the Bulk Load utility. The Bulk Load utility reduces the downtime in loading the data. In addition, Bulk Load utility import Oracle Identity Manager users, roles, role memberships, and accounts provisioned to users.
See Also:"Bulk Load Utility" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for detailed information about Bulk Load utility
Form Designer: A form that allows you to create process and resource object forms that do not come packaged with Oracle Identity Manager. See "Form Designer Form" in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for detailed information about the Form Designer.
Scheduler: A service that provides the capability to run specific jobs at specific schedules. This service can be used by users, application developers, connector developer, and administrators to create and configure a Job to be run at specified intervals. In addition, this service provides administrative capabilities to manage the functionality of jobs and their schedules. See the "Managing Scheduled Tasks" chapter in the Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for more information.
Notification Templates: A common notification service is used by other functional components to send notifications to interested parties about events occurring in Oracle Identity Manager. In addition, this service provides the administrative capabilities for notification template management. A notification template is used for sending the outgoing notifications. These templates typically contain the variables that refer to the available data to provide more contextual content. See the "Creating and Managing Notification Templates" chapter for more information.
System Properties: A system property is an entity that controls the configuration aspect of an application. In addition, to the default system properties, you can create and manage system properties in Oracle Identity Manager. See the "Administering System Properties" chapter in the Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for more information.
Deployment Manager: The Deployment Manager is a tool for exporting and importing Oracle Identity Manager configurations. The Deployment Manager enables you to export the objects that make up your Oracle Identity Manager configuration. See "Importing and Exporting Data Using the Deployment Manager" chapter in the Oracle Fusion Middleware System Administrator's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager for more information.
Various operations in Oracle Identity Manager cannot be performed directly. Instead, the operations must be requested. The request management service provides a mechanism to create, approve, and manage requests. A request is an entity created by the users or administrators who want to perform a specific action, which requires a discretionary permission to be obtained from someone or some process before the action can be performed. For example, a user can create a request to gain access to a laptop computer, a manager can approve the request and create an open requisition, and an IT resource administrator can approve the request.
The primary goal of a provisioning solution is to manage requests and provision resources. Request service provides an abstraction layer on the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) 11g workflow engine. Functional components such as request, provisioning, and attestation interacts with the workflow engine for human approvals. Request service caters to the various functional components in Oracle Identity Manager by managing workflow instances and categories, and provides an abstraction layer on BPEL. For information about registering workflows with Oracle Identity Manager, see, Oracle Fusion Middleware Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Manager.
The Adapter Factory, Kernel Orchestration mechanism, Context Manager, and Plug-in Framework are designed to eliminate the need for hard-coding integrations with these systems.
For more information about the integration of Oracle Identity Manager with middleware applications, see "Integration Solutions".
A description of the Connector Framework is provided in the "Integration Services".