Platform Choices for IdM
It looks like SAP IdM is getting a bit more interest now, particularly based on the number of new “faces” on the forum, which is a very exciting time for the product and for those of us that have been working on it for a while. With that in mind, I thought I would share some observations on the platform options available for IdM, as there are a few things that are not as obvious at first sight.
The Platform Availability Matrix (PAM) for IdM, available at http://service.sap.com/pam states that for IdM 7.2, the following are supported platforms and are discussed in more detail in the installation guide:
SAP EHP1 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0
SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0
SAP EHP1 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.3
SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP NetWeaver 7.3
SAP EHP1 FOR SAP NW CE 7.1
SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.1
SAP EHP2 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0
SAP enhancement package 2 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0
SAP EHP3 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0
SAP enhancement package 3 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0
SAP NETWEAVER 7.0
SAP NetWeaver 7.0
SAP NETWEAVER 7.3
SAP NetWeaver 7.3
SAP NETWEAVER CE 7.2
SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.2
What is not clear is that AS Java 7.0 is only in “Maintenance Mode” support from SAP. I’ve yet to find where this is written down, but I’ve been told it very clearly by the UI teams. What this means is they will fix anything that breaks, but not put any new features on to it. This means it is effectively locked with the UI features from IdM 7.2 SP4. So for me, if you are starting from scratch, you should start on AS Java 7.3. It looks better, and supports all the new features, which are well worth having.
Again, from the PAM, IdM 7.2 is currently supported on SQL Server, Oracle and DB2. As with everything SAP these days, I’m sure it is only a matter of time before HANA is included, and, as IdM is already a very database centric product using stored procedures, this is a very natural fit. This will of course transform IdM, delivering sub micro-second responses, in-memory, at the speed of thought, while making the tea…
But back in the real work, I’m going to focus on the current offering….
My experience has been predominantly on a single large IdM deployment on Oracle and so first off, I’m going to ignore DB2, as I have no experience of it, for IdM or anything else in SAP, and so don’t think it is fair to comment.
As for IdM on Oracle, it is fair to say it has not been smooth sailing. I think the development of IdM by the product team is done on SQL server, and then converted on to Oracle by some means that I’m not clear on. This process is not always smooth and we have had been shipped tools and code containing SQL server syntax that was not picked up. We’ve also got some outstanding performance problems, and some strange “features” appearing occasionally as our database table statistics are updated.
Based on these facts, again, if I was starting for scratch, I would deploy IdM on SQL server, as a database, even though there is still a fair bit of bias, mainly historical in my opinion, about the robustness of it as a database platform generally.
Runtime and Design Time
We have both windows and Linux environments for our runtime and have had no problems with either, with the windows ones being slightly easier to administrate, as you can manage the start and stop directly from a MMC design time installation on the same servers. So, again if I was starting from scratch, I would go for windows design time and runtime, putting both on each of the runtime servers required, assuming one is not sufficient.
So, based on the above, if I had to pick a platform to deploy IdM 7.2 on, ignoring any other factors such as existing IT department skills, organisational preference, snobbery about UNIX over windows, it would be
- Design Time and Runtime – Windows Server
- Database – MS SQL Server
- UI – AS Java 7.3 – any O/S and database
I would of course be delighted to hear what others have experienced, and think about platform choices, and if I’ve many any glaring omissions, please let me know.