Fusion Middleware: New features in Oracle Internet Directory
Going forward, I am planning to write more about Fusion Middleware 10g, Fusion Middleware 11g and Oracle Database 11g. These are the areas that I am developing more interest now-a-days. I am currently working on Fusion Middleware 10g. First of all, I am learning these new software. And when I write here I feel my knowledge level increases. The first Fusion Middleware component that I am going to write about is Oracle Directory Server and Oracle Internet Directory. Both are LDAP Directories from Oracle and part of Fusion Middleware (Why two LDAP Directories as part of Fusion Middleware? – Think about it).
I worked in multiple LDAP Directories during the last few years. A LDAP Directory is software that stores information or entries or data in a tree like format for easy access, it is based on a standard. As per my experience with LDAP Directories, these are the major LDAP directories:
- Oracle Directory Server (earlier Sun Java/Iplanet Directory)
- Novell’s eDirectory (earlier NDS)
- Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD)
- Oracle Internet Directory (OID)
Among these, I like Sun Java Directory (now, Oracle Directory Server) the most. It is because I worked on it first and it was from Sun, standards based, and works well in heterogeneous environments. There are other various reasons, but we will talk more about Oracle Internet Directory here.
What is Oracle Internet Directory?
Oracle Internet Directory is a LDAP Version 3 Compliant Directory Server from Oracle Corporation. Oracle Internet Directory (OID) is used in most of the Oracle Components (such as Oracle Single Sign On) and is one of the primary components delivered as part of the Fusion Middleware.
OID is used to integrate Oracle Middleware and applications and mainly used with Oracle Applications. Oracle Internet Directory stores its data in an Oracle Database. The directory store is an Oracle Database. Oracle Database is a required component to run Oracle Internet Directory. This is one of the major differences among the remaining four major LDAP directory servers.
New Features of OID in Fusion Middleware 11g
OID is delivered by Oracle for the use of Oracle Identity Management. This was part of the Oracle Application Server “Application Infrastructure” Component. So, Oracle Internet Directory is not a new component that is delivered as part of Fusion Middleware. It was already there in Version 10g as well.
I am currently working on Oracle Internet Directory Version 10.1.4.2.0. Fusion middleware version of Oracle Internet Directory is called 11.1.1. There are few improvements between these two versions. I noticed that the improvements lie on these lines
1. Manageability Features
Oracle Directory Services Manager and integration with Weblogic Admin Server are the major changes in the OID Version 11.1.1. Fusion Middleware is Weblogic-Centric. So it is time to learn Weblogic again. Oracle Process Manager and Notification Server (OPMN) is still used in Fusion Middleware for managing OID, as well as other components.
ODSM (Oracle Directory Services Manager) is replacing Oracle Directory Manager (oidadmin). ODSM is a new web-based management tool for managing Oracle Internet Directory in Fusion Middleware 11g.
2. Replication Features
One of the important features that you can setup is a multi-master replication using LDAP based replica model. In earlier versions, it was not possible. Earlier you need to use ASR based replication to setup a multi-master replication. Now it is possible to setup multi-master replication using LDAP based replication.
3. Instance Configuration
There are changes in configset information. Now every instance can have a separate rootDSE information. This was one of the major issue in earlier version. I need to explore this option more. I will write more about this later.
A last important note is: why Oracle is delivering two separate LDAP Directories now as part of Fusion Middleware 11g or as part of its Directory Services Offerings. Why Oracle supports Oracle Directory Server and Oracle Internet Directory? This is because; Oracle Applications are tightly integrated with Oracle Internet Directory. For Example, Oracle Single Sign On needs Oracle Internet Directory. This is one of the reasons Oracle is unable to move to Oracle Directory Server. Let’s hope this will soon change.
Let’s talk more about OID in coming weeks. Until then