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Draft Minutes: Grouper WG call, 12-Dec-07

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  • From: "Jessica Bibbee" <>
  • To: "Grouper Dev" <>
  • Subject: Draft Minutes: Grouper WG call, 12-Dec-07
  • Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 14:32:30 -0500
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Grouper Working Group Meeting
December 12, 2007

Tom Barton, U. Chicago (chair)
Gary Brown, Bristol U. (stand-in chair)
Shilen Patel, Duke U.
RL "Bob" Morgan, U. Washington
Chris Hyzer, U. Pennsylvania
Bill Kasenchar, U. Pennsylvania
Kathryn Huxtable, Independent
Joy Veronneau, Cornell U.
Steve Barrett, Cornell U.
James Cramton, Brown U.
Ann West, EDUCAUSE/Internet2
Steve Olshansky, Internet2
Jessica Bibbee, Internet2 (scribe)

New *Action Items*
[AI] {James} will report back to the Group with results of performance testing of v1.2.1.
[AI] {Chris} will post GridGrouper javadoc to the Grouper wiki.
[AI] {Chris} will check with Access regarding support and documentation.
[AI] {Chris} will draft a strawman document listing an initial set of capabilities for Grouper web services.

Carry-over *Action Items*
[AI] {Kathryn} will draft a proposal for future Ldappc work. (14-Nov-07)
[AI] {Bill} will lead the drafting of an analysis of UI improvements and post to the Grouper wiki. (14-Nov-07)

1. Early v1.2.1 experiences?
  - Should notice of new JIRA issues be sent to grouper-dev?-
2. More discussion of Grouper & Web Services
3. UI suggestions


-Early v1.2.1 experiences?-
Attendees reported their experience with the recent Grouper release, v1.2.1. {Joy} said Cornell has begun testing the release, but plans to do further load testing. {Shilen} said Duke will likely deploy in January. {James} found it to be performing well at Brown; [AI] {James} will report back to the Group with results of performance testing of v1.2.1. {Tom} reiterated the value of the community's feedback to development efforts.

- Should notice of new JIRA issues be sent to grouper-dev?-
The Group discussed whether the role of JIRA activity should be addressed on Working Group conference calls or strictly on the mailing list, etc. A JIRA-Monitor mailing list was suggested, whereby those interested could sign up to receive notifications of changes and fixes; however this may not be practical in terms of the target audience.

Another subscription-service possibility was to have a feed from Confluence, though this would entail manually entering content. {SteveO} informed that there may soon be a JIRA plugin available with a future Confluence release. JIRA itself offers the ability to *watch* all/certain pages. The Group seemed to be more interested in a subscription service, as opposed to allocating time on a conference call or using the existing Grouper-develop mailing list.

-More discussion of Grouper & Web Services-
The Group continued discussion of how Grouper should approach web services and which tools they ought to use, namely SOAP and REST.

Grouper will coordinate with Signet on the best approach for both, as their integration is an important consideration. {Lynn McRae} seemed to show interest in the ease that REST offers by direct mapping into XML as opposed to using Java. In the Signet API, the XML interface could serve multiple interfaces. It is designed to accommodate import/export and form the basis of a Hooks infrastructure.

{Chris} suggested that using a basic SOAP envelope (and not getting into web services security and exception handling) would have wider support, whereas REST uses namespaces and is to have XML over HTTP. REST is language dependent, as is anything that uses XML and HTTP. He suggested making Grouper more maintainable.

{Steve} expressed a preference for using an Axis interface that could reply to both SOAP and REST requests. The Group discussed which of SOAP or REST is less of a *free-for-all* in terms of commands.

[AI] {Chris} will check with Access regarding support and documentation.

{Tom} summarized by saying it might be advisable to create interfaces intended to be more stable over time, as opposed to straight-through mapping of data through infrastructure. Enhancements should be accessible as a function change to the API; how will it be reflected into an interface? Should development efforts aim to provide a subset or abstractive set of web services capabilities?

How big a first step should Grouper take with respect to web services? The Group will continue to explore what is desired, and which of these items should be first addressed. All agreed it will be better to start with a narrow focus and broaden the scope as development continues. GridGrouper may offer a valuable perspective. [AI] {Chris} will post GridGrouper javadoc to the Grouper wiki.

Prior discussions of an alternate UI, focused not only on the power user, have segued into the potential of web services, which would enable any campus to create their own UI based on local requirements. In this sense, Grouper would not just support central group management, but it would enable people to do the actual work within another application or context and project it back into Grouper. {Steve B.} mentioned that a Grouper *Lite* would provide out-of-the-box functionality, i.e., web services with an example client would prove useful.

{Chris} has begun a page in the Grouper Project wiki to explore the role of web services and Grouper: < >. Feedback and additions to the page are welcomed.

[AI] {Chris} will draft a strawman document listing an initial set of capabilities for Grouper web services.

-UI suggestions-
{Bill} had earlier volunteered to commit to UI analysis and shared initial findings; further documentation will be posted in the Grouper wiki: < >.

-Hibernate 3.0-
Attendees expressed an interest in upgrading to support for Hibernate 3.0. While it has not been severely tested, it would be worthwhile to add it to the development roadmap.

-Subject API and Grouper Changes-
{Kathryn and Shilen} will be working on Grouper changes for the Subject API, with work to begin in early 2008. Any development on web services will be done on the existing API, with changes as a new release is made available.

-Future Agenda items-
{Tom} expressed an interest in focusing the Working Group conference calls around a single work item, e.g., web services. Eventually, transaction support and Hooks items will rotate in as topics of discussion.

Due to an overlap with end-of-year holidays, the next Grouper Working Group conference call will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 12pm EST.

Jessica Bibbee, Technical Analyst

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  • Draft Minutes: Grouper WG call, 12-Dec-07, Jessica Bibbee, 12/17/2007

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