Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Further Introduction to Oracle IDM and Fusion Apps

Last week I gave an introduction into the Fusion Middleware Security in Fusion Applications.  This week I’d like to expand on that introduction to talk specifically, but still at a high level, about how the the Oracle IDM products fit in Fusion Apps.  To review, here I’m talking specifically about OID, OVD, OAM, OIM, and optionally OIF.

Active Participants
If you are going to take anything away from what I have written or will write about Fusion Apps and IDM let it be this: Do not ignore the Identity and Access Management components of Fusion Applications or take them for granted.
Even more than the other FMW components in Fusion Apps, the IDM components are not black boxes. They are independent products that must be actively managed.

Independently Installed
This starts at the very beginning with the fact that unlike the other FMW components, the IDM components of Fusion Apps is installed separately from the actual Fusion Apps kit. In fact, what I like to call the IDM environment for Fusion Apps is a pre-requisite to the Fusion Apps install itself which in turn asks approximately 100,000 questions about the IDM environment that it will be leveraging. This IDM environment includes its own database and web tiers which are distinct from the Fusion Apps database and web tiers.

This process is really just a specific build out of the Oracle IDM Suite, very similar to what an Oracle IDM Suite customer might do for a traditional enterprise deployment.

So, to successfully deploy Fusion Apps, you must be able to successfully deploy the Oracle IDM suite.

Mission Critical
The IDM components of Fusion Applications are mission critical. If OVD, OID, or OAM aren’t working properly (or God forbid, aren’t working at all) then neither is Fusion Apps. It is that simple.

So, if you want a high available deployment of Fusion Apps, you better make OVD, OID, OAM, and OIM highly available.

If you want to be able to restore a backup of your Fusion Apps environment, you better know how to back the IDM components.

If you want to be able to monitor the health status of your Fusion Apps deployment, you better include the IDM components in that monitoring.

Smart people involved in the deployment and/or management of Fusion Apps will recognize this and give proper attention to deploying and tuning the IDM environment for Fusion Apps in a way that is consistent with the requirements for the total FA deployment.

Skill Sets You’ll Want to Have
During a Fusion Apps deployment and the build out of the IDM environment that is a part of that deployment you’ll want to be able to:
  • Understand the deployment options described in the IDM Enterprise Deployment Guide (Fusion Apps Edition).
  • Be able to use that guide to architect an appropriate IDM build out for your specific Fusion Apps requirements.
  • Be able to install OID, OVD, OAM, OIM, and optionally OIF; along with the related pre-requisite and auxiliary packages such as SOA suite, WLS, and OHS.
  • Be able to tune all the above components.
  • Be able to do basic configuration of each of the listed components. The specifics of what this means varies from component to component and even deployment to deployment.
On an ongoing basis you’ll want to be able to:
  • Enable and analyze debug logging for each component.
  • Monitor each component using Enterprise Manager (EM) or integrate the component with an existing monitoring framework in your enterprise.
  • Be able to take backups of the IDM environment.
  • Be able to start and stop each component.
  • Be able to patch each component.
  • Finally, you’ll still want to have basic configuration and administration knowledge for each component around for expected and unexpected changes and maintenance.
Conclusion
While being able to author complex OAM policies, write custom OVD adaptors, or create complex SOA composites for custom OIM approvals isn’t necessary for most if not all Fusion Apps projects; a foundational proficiency with the Oracle IDM stack where one can install, manage, and monitor each IDM product is required for a successful and stable deployment of Fusion Apps.

In the coming weeks I plan to write more about how to plan for, execute, and verify a successful IDM build out for Fusion Apps.

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