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Re: [grouper-dev] Draft Minutes: Grouper Call July 30, 2014

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  • From: Tom Barton <>
  • To:
  • Subject: Re: [grouper-dev] Draft Minutes: Grouper Call July 30, 2014
  • Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:27:30 -0500

Dear Colleagues,

There have been some good thoughts and experiences contributed to the discussion of grouper and message queuing approaches to provisioning, and group provisioning more generally. Thank you! This topic will be the center of the discussion during tomorrow's grouper-dev call.

The main principles I think we should to try to adhere to in the approach we'll take are:
  • Facilitate community contrib to provisioning connectors, since it is an unbounded functional area.
  • Remain focused on management of access info and replicating it where it needs to go with reasonable performance.
  • Continue to be integrable with most anything.
  • Keep it as simple as possible: aim to be easy to deploy, easy to use, reliable.

It would be great if anyone with further thoughts to contribute would do so on this list before then (noon eastern Wed).


On 8/14/2014 9:29 AM, Tom Barton wrote:
Michael and others with deep interest in Grouper's provisioning strategy,

To keep the project's forward momentum now is the time to discuss, research, debate, and finally decide on the essential elements of provisioning work for v2.3. I strongly encourage people wishing to participate in that decision to do so on this list and on grouper-dev calls announced here. Grouper has always been shaped by the consensus of those who show up to shape it. All are welcome, and all points of view are most welcome!


On 8/13/2014 8:57 AM, Michael R. Gettes wrote:
I hope there will be opportunity to discuss this stuff (provisioning strategy) and A-Camp along with others who are interested in how this gets solved (BillT, Keith, ScottK, just to name a few).



On Aug 13, 2014, at 8:01 AM, Emily Eisbruch <> wrote:

Provisioning Strategy

What should we have in place for provisioning for Grouper 2.3?

Tom: we had previously decided to have custom change log consumers for LDAP and for AD.
We had thought about other provisioning needs: Google, Box, Message queues, etc

Dave: A Google connector / provisioning approach (change log consumer) is being worked on in the field, with a university and help from an affiliate.  

Jim: It is important to have a mechanism to differentiate which groups are being provisioned and which are not
Dave: suggestion to use the design being used at U. Chicago, which is to decorate groups with attributes that determine which provisioners should be used for the group. (I.e. I want this group to be provisioned to LDAP)

Tom: What about message queues?
CMU has been advocating for use of Active MQ

Chris: we could make that pluggable

comment: there are issues with pushing things to message queues, and determining visibility of confidential info in the messages, and  there is a need for all  or partial encryption.  

Chris: we can follow AWS patterns for that.

Two issues: 1) Putting all messages into one queue / handler, then the messages can be pushed out to other queues.

comment: Message queue involves some latency. LDAP has to be up to date quickly. 
So this is an argument against putting everything on a message queue.

U. Washington populates Google and AD through the message bus, but does not populate the main LDAP through the message bus.
For LDAP, U Washington uses a hook that writes a temporary file, like the 1st version of the change log. U Washington uses cache to respond to membership requests, so LDAP must be up to date.

- If you can't wait, use a hook
-if you can wait, use a change log or messaging queue

Question: can the hook write message to Amazon SQS or ActiveMQ?
A: Yes, you can do it before or after the commit happens.
Risk that if the system shuts down, the message  could get lost.
But overall it should be OK

What do we need to know to choose between hook or change log as the implementation?

Jim: most sites are happy with the way the change log is used now.
U Washington has an special situation.

Change log may be a safer approach. Less risk of systems shutting down and losing transactions

Translating ACLs can be an issue to consider, especially around Google groups.

Suggested strategy:

-Provide a change log consumer that can work w ActiveMQ and Amazon SQS
-Provide a customer change log consumer for LDAP and AD
-Make it possible to tag groups and attach attributes to groups, etc. to specify provisioning  info.

We may want to make the SCIM provisioning approach more generic, but need a working SCIM end-point.

[AI] (Dave) will document Grouper provisioning strategy on the wiki for review and discussion

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