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Planned feature

This page describes a feature planned for future midPoint versions.

This feature is roughly designed and it was evaluated as feasible. However, there is currently no specific plan when it will be implemented because there is no funding for this development yet. In case that you are interested in supporting development of this feature, please consider activating midPoint Platform subscription.

Introduction

MidPoint architecture is composed from several subsystems and components that are wired together by using interfaces. Perhaps the most important interface in the entire system is IDM Model Interface. This interface is available in several forms:

  • Local Java API
  • RESTful service
  • SOAP-based web service

However, one form is missing: message-based service. Although message-oriented integration patterns are currently not very fashionable, messaging is a viable and often very desirable integration mechanism. Therefore there is benefit in exposing the IDM Model Interface using a messaging service.

Implementation

The operations of IDM Model Interface were originally designed as strictly synchronous operations. But even in early days of midPoint development it became clear that we also need to support asynchronous processing. As the primary form of IDM Model Interface is native Java code, direct asynchronous support is not entirely straightforward. Therefore most operations are still synchronous and asynchronous processing is implemented by using "in progress" operation results and tasks.

Therefore the fist iteration of messaging-based API would follow the same (almost)synchronous approach. There will be request messages and response messages that will be used to compose a communication protocol. Please note that there may be several response messages for one request (e.g. in case of search operations). But all the operations will be synchronous in nature, i.e. the operations will be executed by the server in synchronous way. If the operation cannot provide final result because (e.g. due to approval process or similar "asynchronicity"), then the operation will indicate "in progress" status and may refer to a task that governs further execution of the message. But a message that indicates "in progress" status is considered to conclude the operation as far as message exchange is concerned.

The message-based interface will be implemented using Java Messaging Service (JMS) mechanism. Therefore all the benefits and limitations of JMS should also apply here.

Messages used in message-based form of this interface will be directly related to existing operations in other forms of the IDM Model Interface. E.g. there will be GetObjectRequest and GetObjectResponse messages, ExecuteChangesRequest and ExecuteChangesResponse and so on. We expect same operations and same parameters as are in the other forms of this interface.

Future Development

The quasi-asynchronicity described above makes sense for synchronous forms of the interface - and so far all the forms were in fact synchronous. But for messaging interface we could do better. Messaging-based interface would probably prefer to receive a completion message for an asynchronous operation when the operation is completed. It is perhaps still useful to send "in progress" messages, but the code should be modified to send "done" message once the complete operation is finished. Given the nature of some midPoint mechanisms (e.g. due to approval process or operation retries), the final message may be delivered hours of even days after the initial request. While this is not acceptable for synchronous forms of IDM Model Interface, it may be perfectly OK for message-based forms.

Related Work

This form of IDM Model Interface may be useful for some integration use cases. But we do not recommend to use it for integration with resources. Ordinary provisioning connectors should be used for that purpose whenever possible. In case that there is a resource which sends updates using a message-based transport, Messaging Resources mechanism may be much more appropriate.

See Also

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