Identity Management | News
Radiant Logic Showcases New Tools for Virtual Directory Work
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A company that sells a virtual identity server platform will shortly be releasing new Web-based programs that allow users to tap enterprise data through SharePoint and to link structured data stored in databases and other types of applications. Radiant Logic has launched ID-Connect and Context Browser to run on a new version of RadiantOne VDS Context Edition 5.3.
Based on Silverlight, Microsoft's development platform, ID-Connect is an interface that adds the capabilities of VDS into Microsoft SharePoint as a Web part (or as JSP pages for any J2EE Web server). ID-Connect adds functionality to SharePoint that enables users to obtain a unified view of identity and profile attributes pulled from multiple data sources inside and outside of the organization's firewall. The application aggregates data virtually from directories and databases as well as cloud-based applications, including SalesForce and Google Apps.
ID-Connect can be used as a single source of authentication for identities across data silos. It also allows the SharePoint administrator to correlate user attributes such as title, department, projects, or interests in order to build a global profile to simplify profile management across the organization.
The program taps a dynamic grouping capability of VDS to allow users to do ad hoc searches for people across the network covered by SharePoint. Another feature is the ability to create dynamic groups in SharePoint based on any attributes of a given profile pulled from those multiple data sources. And ID-Connect allows the user to organize and contextualize different views of existing data sources to facilitate keyword searches across data.
Individualized attributes can be created and secured in a local LDAP directory offered through RadiantOne, which acts as a personal "data locker." The user can save custom updates to the local LDAP store through SharePoint instead of requiring a database administrator to modify the structures of other data sources to support these additional attributes.
The second new release from Radiant Logic is Context Browser, another Web-based application. This one enables users to search across structured information inside different data silos. Practical applications include secure contextual search and context-driven applications in mobile computing and for social networks.
Context Browser leverages information gathered and virtualized by VDS Context Edition to extract data from applications and represent it in plain English. For example, when the user enters a search keyword, Context Browser returns both the object matching the search and the context in which it appeared. For each match, the Context Browser returns a set of sentences and forms describing the context and giving the details about the object matching the searched keyword.
"The current paradox is that we can search for all kinds of information on the Internet, as long it's indexed in unstructured documents, such as HTML or text. But jump into the world of applications and databases--the so-called structured data world--and it becomes mission impossible," said CEO Michel Prompt. "There is no mechanism right now to search across data silos in a uniform way.... Context Browser coupled with VDS opens this huge source not just to applications but also to the end user. It will be the stepping stone for the new wave of context-aware applications."
The news about the new programs comes on top of the release of version 5.3 of VDS Context Edition, the company's flagship product. The new edition offers enhanced support for protocols along with other features. Radiant has teamed with Axiomatics, which publishes a policy server for XACML, an access control standard, to facilitate the authorization requirements of complex applications.
The release also provides support for SPML 2.0, a service provisioning markup language that enables different groups and organizations to exchange user, resource, and service provisioning details. This feature will allow users to move beyond LDAP and SQL clients in their provisioning requests and also simplifies the administration work involved in connecting to multiple provisioning end-points.
The new release also provides enhanced support for SQL to enable Virtual Directory Server to work more easily with data in applications that only recognize SQL.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.