Friday, May 23, 2008

Non technical updates

I know that I've been spending a lot of time on NetWeaver Identity Center Issues.  Hope it's been of some use to everyone out there.  I'd like to take a few moments and just comment on some things I've been hearing lately.

First of all there's the whole LifeLock deal.  Honestly, most of my initial thoughts were unprintable and more eloquently stated in other parts of the blogosphere.  But I'll leave it at this:  Identity and Credit protection services are only part of the solution.  Basic steps in protecting your authoritative identity information should include not blabbing it to everyone you know on TV, Radio and especially the internet!  Keeping that information private should be nothing less than your first line of defense.  'Nuff said.  Moving on...

A big theme of this blog in its first life was the usefulness, properties and functioning of Virtual Directories.  So it's always with interest that I look to see what Clayton Donley over at Oracle has to say on the topic.  He's one of the few people I've seen who continue the discussion of this IdM tool.

That being said, I will get on to disagreeing with some issues in his latest blog posting:  Personal Fire Trucks and Overengineering Identity Solutions. While I whole-heartedly agree with him that many Identity projects are vastly overengineered, I disagree that caching is a factor in this. To paraphrase his story, Clayton likens the use of caching to a person buying their own fire truck in case there is a fire in the home.  

Caching as a whole makes data more ready for access and usage by users and enterprise systems connected to Identity Repositories.  Is caching a personal fire truck?  I don't think so. However, I can see that as a result of poor analysis, design and engineering, caching could be used inappropriately to bolster a failing solution.  

Caching, like all tools can be used for a multitude of purposes, much like a fire truck.  It all comes down to why you are using the cache.  Is it to supplement the solution or carry it?  Too little or too much caching results in poor information and longer, not shorter response times.   It is up to the Identity Architect to decide if the solution needs a fire extinguisher or a fire truck.  Criticizing the Architect for preparing for increased demand, latency and other design considerations is only appropriate if it is improperly used.
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