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Identity Management with Microsoft Identity Integration Server

  • July 22, 2005
  • By Jeffrey Juday
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Configuring a Management Agent

Management agents are the lifeblood of MIIS. They manage Connector Spaces, as well as the configuration of data that flows into the Metaverse. The configuration options in this example have been simplified in keeping with the introductory theme of the article. However, as with many configuration settings in MIIS, you can also customize using the MIIS SDK and Visual Studio.

To create a new management agent, access the Management Agent button on the toolbar and select "Create" from the Actions menu. As you can see in the Management Agent setup dialog in Figure 5, you have a variety of management agents available to you.

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Figure 5. The Management Agent Setup Dialog

In fact, you are not limited to the management agents in the list. MIIS ships with an SDK that includes documentation for creating your own management agent.

In this example, you create two management agents: one that controls the data flowing to the HumanResourceData object in the Metaverse, and another that controls data flowing out of the HumanResourceData object. You then will move data into and out of SQL Server 2000 databases, so you must create SQL Server management agents.

The first step to configuring a SQL Server 2000 management agent is choosing a server and a table or view (see Figure 6). A stored procedure is not an option.

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Figure 6. Choose a Server and a Table or View

If you select Integrated Authentication, you must enter a user name and domain.

Once you've specified the database information, the MIIS management agent reads the table configuration and sets appropriate information in the Connector Space. The dialog in Figure 7 displays the table column configuration information.

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Figure 7. The Table Column Configuration Information

The two major things to configure in this dialog are the anchor (or key field in the originating table) and the object type of the Connector.

The next major piece of information to configure for the MIIS management agent is the projection rules. You can configure information to flow into the Metaverse in two ways: project rules and join rules. The techniques that MIIS uses to determine when to copy new objects to the Metaverse differ for each option. Project rules insert all data from the source to the Metaverse object as specified in the Projection dialog (see Figure 8).

Figure 8. The Projection Dialog

Join rules perform the equivalent of a database update. When you apply join rules, you update existing objects in the Metaverse to match the join rules you configured in the management agent.

The final piece of configuration information for the new management agent is the attribute data flows. Attribute data flows map the incoming or outgoing data to fields (attributes) in the Metaverse. Figure 9 shows the attribute data flow for Northwind data flowing into the Metaverse.

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Figure 9. Northwind Data Flowing into the Metaverse

The management agent for data flowing out of the Metaverse differs in the following fundamental ways:
  • It contains no projection rules.
  • The attribute flows point to the outgoing data source from the Metaverse.
  • The anchor value attribute data flow is missing in the configuration information.
  • For deployment and version control, you can export all configuration information to XML.

Now that you've configured a management agent, it's time to define the processes to initiate importing, exporting, and synchronization.

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