Ⓕ Sirius News

When we started last year, it was thrilling to see how many companies responded when we asked who would be interested in reselling ForgeRock subscriptions, consulting on the projects and delivering training. Over eighty former Sun partners contacted us.

But customers asked us, out of all those community partners, who we would recommend locally, who did we trust. We started thinking about how to identify key business partners from the community partner list, and have spent the last two months gradually working our way country by country through the list. The result? Take a look at the map.

Today was a particularly satisfying day in that process – our first UK partner. Members of the UK open source community will be familiar with Mark Taylor and his company Sirius, probably the UK’s leading supplier of open source IT services (especially to local government and the public sector). I’m delighted to say that Sirius is ForgeRock’s first full UK partner. We’ve added them to the map and I’m really looking forward to working with Mark and his excellent team to deliver open source identity solutions across the UK.

Ⓕ New OpenDJ Architect

Last week I broke the news that ForgeRock (where I work) had gained an architect for OpenIDM. Today is the last day of ForgeRock’s first year, and I’m pleased to say we have gained an architect for the open source LDAP directory product we work on, OpenDJ.

Matthew Swift comes with great experience, having worked on the OpenDS project before at Sun Microsystems where he was responsible for the core server (its performance; reliability; administration model and tools) as well as developing many new core features. He’s already dived in with ideas about how ForgeRock should contribute to the OpenDJ roadmap, including planning for a new v3 release of OpenDJ with a redesigned core server so that the v2 base can be kept as stable as possible for existing users, adding only usability features and mainly fixing bugs.

This is a great end to a great first year. Welcome to ForgeRock, Matthew!

Ⓕ Another RockStar at ForgeRock

You’ll recall that ForgeRock (where I work) launched the OpenIDM project back in October. One of the key control points in enterprise software is the provisioning or IDM software. It’s the point all the threads of directory, authentication, authorisation and provisioning come together and it’s the part that the proprietary vendors are least willing to surrender to that great deposer of control points, community-based open source software.

It’s already stimulated a great deal of interest and we already have a number of customers for it. We realised it needs a great engineer to act as ForgeRock’s lead architect for OpenIDM. So I am delighted to say that, starting today, Andreas Egloff is joining ForgeRock as Chief Architect, OpenIDM. Andi headed up OpenESB development at Sun and was the force behind the Fuji project that was creating its successor. His skills in identity management in general and in identity oriented enterprise middleware will be crucial in helping the OpenIDM project evolve quickly yet with architectural integrity.

Having Andi join the team rounds out an amazing first year wonderfully – welcome, Andi!

Ⓕ OpenIDM Design Summit Announced

One of the key control points in enterprise software is the provisioning or IDM software. It’s the point all the threads of directory, authentication, authorisation and provisioning come together and it’s the part that the proprietary vendors are least willing to surrender to that great deposer of control points, community-based open source software.

When ForgeRock (where I work) got started, some companies who had been promised an open source IDM by a vendor who then reneged on the promise asked if we’d join them building one. After about nine months collaborative work, the result was the OpenIDM project, for which ForgeRock announced support back in October.

That wasn’t the end of the process of course, and the pace is being maintained. I’m delighted to see that the emerging community is organising an OpenIDM Design Summit in two weeks in Oslo (January 26-27), both as a meeting point for the developers building it and as a meeting for the developers and businesses deploying it (mainly in Scandinavia at the moment, but the meeting will be in English). ForgeRock is providing the facilities and the agenda looks very interesting.

Ⓕ ForgeRock: Announcing OpenIDM

You’ll recall that we started ForgeRock near the start of 2010 to provide continuity for customers of Sun’s enterprise identity middleware products and from that to establish a new ISV creating an identity-oriented application platform, all as open source software. So far we have rehosted OpenSSO in the OpenAM project, and rehosted OpenDS in the OpenDJ project. Demand has been strong and we’ve established a diverse international customer base already, after only 9 months.

Today at GOSCON in Portland we have announced that we’ve taken the new step of releasing a completely new project. We felt there was no strong open source identity provisioning project, so we have launched OpenIDM and released full source code (under CDDL for compatibility with OpenAM and OpenDJ). As with the rest of ForgeRock’s business, there’s no lock-in, no “open core” upsell – just great software with passionate and skilled subscription services and a global network of partners.

OpenIDM’s architecture is uniquely flexible and developer-friendly. It is lightweight yet through a modular architecture enables a hybrid model of storing entitlement-carrying attributes for certification, audits and compliance. OpenIDM is fully open source and relies on well-established, proven components such as the workflow engine from OpenESB and the Identity Connector Framework (ICF), which allows connectivity to a large number of resources such as OpenDJ, Active Directory, SAP and more. ForgeRock can provide subscriptions now to customers requiring assistance with evaluations, proof-of-concept or migration projects.

There’s more about it in the press release and on the OpenIDM web site.

★ Rehost And Carry On

Revised version of British wartime poster, found on Wikipedia

T-Shirts Now Available!

I spent the last two days in Brussels with many of the key participants  in the OpenESB Community. OpenESB is a large software subsystem that conveniently allows all kinds of applications to communicate with each other across networks. It was created by Sun, but since the Oracle acquisition has, as the former Sun project leader (now at Google) wrote eloquently, languished in the decline reserved for projects with important customers which are nonetheless no longer wanted. There’s the soft sound of footsteps backing away to leave it in splendid, unannounced isolation.

The community around OpenESB is actually fairly active, and they (or, as it includes ForgeRock where I now work, perhaps I should say “we”) want OpenESB to stay around. But what do you do if the project is hosted somewhere under the control of a disinterested party? There’s no huge crime or disagreement to “justify” a fork and the code is still out there, but on the other hand any new plans really will need the source and the community presence hosted in a way that allows the interested parties to change and improve things without having to wait for weeks to get replies to requests and risk having them declined if they are deemed inconvenient.

That’s why the topic under discussion is not forking – the remaining community is not divided – but rehosting. That’s also how I would characterise what ForgeRock has done with OpenAM (formerly OpenSSO) and OpenDJ (formerly OpenDS). No conflict, no malice, just a desire by the remaining community to carry on in the aftermath of the main sponsor backing silently away.

[An expanded version of this post can be found on ComputerWorldUK]

☆ New ventures: OpenDJ, FossAlliance

Friday was a busy day full of news for me. After an exhausting day full of conference interventions on Thursday at Open World Forum (a total of five), Friday was the day that I was free to announce both OpenDJ and FossAlliance.

OpenDJ from ForgeRock

OpenDJ is the next addition to our product family at ForgeRock. It is a highly scalable directory server written entirely in Java. It deploys easily into any Java EE application server, is fully LDAP compliant and is rich in features. It meshes beautifully with our OpenAM access management, federation, authentication and authorisation server. It’s entirely open source and may be freely deployed with the confidence that ForgeRock have subscriptions available when needed.

If it sounds familiar, it may be becuase it is based on the OpenDS project Sun used to work on. My old colleague Ludovic Poitou has joined ForgeRock to look after it for us, and I am keen to see a co-developer community grow around it in addition to the substantial deployer community that is now free to migrate from OpenDS to OpenDJ. There’s plenty more about it in the press release and FAQ.

Open Source Consulting from FossAlliance

On a more personal note, over the last few months I have received more and more requests for advice and help from a range of organisations. I’ve joined with several trusted long-term friends to form a consulting alliance for and about free and open source software, called FossAlliance. It provides a “one stop shop” delivering a full range of help, from training to strategic consulting, policy-setting, migration, community engagement and everything else in between – even marketing. We’re able to deliver these services through our alliance of companies, carefully balanced to deliver the full range of engagements.

I’ve also received a large number of speaking engagement requests and now work with a facilitator to arrange engagements. Hopefully these changes will help make life smoother without affecting the building momentum.

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