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Identity Management Improvements

June 11, 2012

On this Monday, June 18, LTS will transition faculty and staff to use the new Identity Management (IdM) solution for account creation and maintenance. We have been transitioning to this new system over several years. Sponsored accounts have been maintained with it for over two years, and student accounts for a few months. Transitioning these last accounts to the new system will allow us to both turn the old system off and decommission the UNet Database.

This is a significant Identity Management milestone, and while many of the changes are behind the scenes and won't directly affect you, they will improve the way your account is maintained.

What is all this about?

When your relationship with Brandeis first began, as a student, staff, faculty, or contractor, you signed up for a Brandeis username. That username has followed you around since you've been here, and it's how you log into most systems and services, most notably your email, sage, BUSS, and LATTE.

Brandeis's original Identity Management system (internally known as "Cruft") is over 10 years old. It was a remarkable bit of software for having lasted as long as it did, but it is aging, complicated to support, and prone to breaking. When you or a colleague has an issue with an account, it is often directly (or indirectly) related to this old piece of software.

Moving forward...

The new version of Identity Management software is a vast improvement, and it leverages information in our data warehouse (PeopleSoft EPM). Using data from our data warehouse allows for smoother and faster integration and means that we no longer need to populate a separate "UNet Database" with feeds of information from our source systems (sage, BUSS).

The bottom line

Most of the changes taking place later this week are behind the scenes. They won't change how your account works, but they will ensure that you have fewer account issues, and any issues you do have will be easier for the IdM team to solve.

All in all, we have created a new and incredibly robust system of account provisioning that is more secure, maintainable, and extensible, and that will conceivably be supportable for at least another 10 years.