Monday, August 3, 2009

Open Source Identity Connector for Replicon Web TimeSheet

I've had some time now to play with the "Identity Connectors" project Connector Toolkit, and it is amazing how much the framework provides in terms of structure, tools, and code generation. I've used it to develop a user provisioning connector for Replicon's Web TimeSheet suite (which we use for time tracking at Nulli). The connector will work with both the Replicon-hosted (SaaS) and self-hosted instances of WTS v8.3+.

The Connector Toolkit offers a simple ant command (or NetBeans plugin) to quickly build a project shell (including unit tests), giving the developer the option of which functions they would like to implement. After that, there is some fill-in-the-blanks type development that produces a "Connector Bundle" distributable (including javadoc and dependent libraries) that is simply dropped into a folder in Sun Identity Manager. Multiple versions of the same bundle can exist in a Sun IdM deployment without conflicting.

Great job to the Sun engineers involved in designing the framework! In every Identity project I have worked on, there always seems to be at least one adapter that doesn't match the supported software version installed. I think that the flexibility around dependencies that it provides along with a (hopefully) growing list of connectors/contributors, the wait-time to support updated software versions will decrease significantly. It would be very nice to see other Identity Provisioning vendors get involved with this project and/or implement support for the bundles (Oracle?).

Thanks to Chris at Replicon for developing and providing information on their very elegant API.

Download the connector bundle here. (coming soon - pending approval for including Apache libraries in bundle)

The source code is available from subversion repository or web.


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