Saturday, August 28, 2010

OIM Howto: Cascading user form changes using triggers

In the post Cascading user form changes with approval I am suggesting triggering the approval through a entity adapter. I got a very good question about this post.

The conventional approach for cascading user form changes down to process forms is to enter a task name in the LOOKUP.USR_PROCESS_TRIGGERS lookup table and then creating a task in the provisioning process with the same task name. This task then writes the data to the process form. The question was why not simply let this task trigger the request creation and avoid the whole complicated business with the entity adapter.

The answer is that the process trigger approach in many cases works fine. If you only have one resource object or a small number of resource objects where you need this functionality using the process trigger approach works great. If you on the other hand have many resource objects that needs this function things get a bit more complex if you want to stay with the process trigger approach.

One option is of course to implement the task in each resource object. That works fine but will cost you performance as each task initiation will take considerable time. You also will have more functionality to maintain although that really isn't a big issue as the logic is contained in the Java methods and you can keep a single copy that is shared between the resource objects. One advantage of the approach is that unless the user has been provisioned the resource the task will never fire so you don't have to create logic that controls what resource objects have been provisioned to the user.

The other option is to manage the update of several resource objects from a single task by using the APIs to check if the user has been provisioned with the other resources or not and take appropriate actions. This approach will make your code a bit more complex and in general it is also not advisable to let a task in one resource object impact other totally separate resource objects as this tends to be confusing (sort of variant of a hidden code side effect).

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