Tuesday, March 21

MaXware HQ: Trip Report

On Saturday, I returned from Norway just in time for my family's St. Pat's celebration. It was a very impressive trip. ...and the party wasn't bad either. The folks in Trondheim are certainly on the ball. The first few days of training were focused on our synch and provisioning products. On day four, I learned how to implement all of the virtual directory scenarios I've been talking about in this blog. Day five was all about federation and federated auto-provisioning. Very cool stuff. These guys are brilliant!

I heard a story that the concept of Virtual Directory came out of a discussion between Kim Cameron (with ZoomIt at the time) and our CTO. Something like, "wouldn't it be nice if we didn't need a persistent data store between the originating data stores?". Well, he went back to the office and wrote what I believe to be the first Virtual Directory (then called an LDAP proxy). That's a nice legacy.

Some of the training discussion was review, but I also learned a number of advanced techniques. For example, our data synch tool doesn't require the data source to keep track of delta changes because we can store the deltas in a central database, which is vital for auditing down to the attribute level. We can also rollback account provisioning if creation fails in one of the downstream apps. And in one day, I installed MaXware Virtual Directory and setup custom directory views based on logon, created a joined account scenario, searched a SQL table via LDAP and restructured the virtual LDAP DIT based on the querying app. I was amazed at how simple this stuff was to install and configure. (Sorry if I sound like an infomercial, but I am very quickly learning to be product biased). It's a weird feeling to come from a product-agnostic environment (where I always preached product independence) and now find myself part of a product company. When I joined the company, I knew MaXware by reputation, but didn't have much hands-on experience. So, I'm glad to find that when I look under the hood I'm seeing some very nice technology -- feature rich, easy to use and a solid, mature code-base.

I was also impressed with the Norwegian people. Not that I was surprised, but everywhere I went people were helpful and friendly. And what a beautiful country! I really couldn't have asked for more.

1 comment:

Nils Andreas said...

Hi Matt!

It was really a nice surprise to find your blog and this blog entry!

And on behalf of the Trondheim population, thanks :-)

I'll check up on your blog - nice that you're writing on identity managment.

I've started to tinker with my own over at http://my.opera.com/NilsAndreas/blog/, which is mostly in Norwegian.