EMC OnDemand: Federated Identity Management and Silent SSO

Identity Management for On-Premise Applications

Our industry today has some very proven technologies for providing a single set of login credentials to applications installed on-premise.  Most commonly, companies use a central Identity Management system (e.g. Microsoft Active Directory/Oracle Internet Directory/IBM Tivoli), and these systems implement an LDAP interface that 3rd party applications can call to validate user credentials.

This allows end users to login to their internal HR portal, SharePoint site, or local Documentum Webtop with the same credentials they used to gain entrance into their Windows Desktop, and is termed SSO (Single Sign-On).  This has dramatically improved the end user experience, as well as improved the ability of IT to mange the risk and policies surrounding identity management.

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EMC OnDemand: Best Practices for Custom Methods

The concept of custom methods which run directly on the Java Method Server has proven an extremely useful extension point for Documentum developers and solutions architects.  Whether used in a workflow activity to integrate with an enterprise message queue or as an action for Webtop users who need temporarily escalated privileges to apply legal retention, custom Java methods have become a key customization in most customer environments. Features include:

  • Lightweight invocation of methods as compared to dmbasic and external Java methods that require execution
  • DFC operations execute on the same host as the Content Server which minimizes the effects of network latency and throughput
  • Can be configured to run as the repository owner which allows them elevated privileges to content when necessary
  • Provide the logic for workflow auto-activities, able to utilize any Java library including the DFC
  • Provide the logic for custom job/methods, again able to utilize the full power of Java and its libraries

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EMC OnDemand: Enabling Distributed Content Features and BOCS

Content delivery is one of the primary use cases for a Content Mangement system.  When users are spread across six different continents, you must have an implementation that ensures timely access for all users – not just those in the local network.  A typical scenario involves the database and primary Content Server deployed in the main North American or European datacenter with remote user groups scattered throughout the world.  These remote offices often have limited network throughput, which makes it even more challenging.

Enter Branch Office Caching Services

Documentum has dealt with this scenario since its inception and has a myriad of options for streamlining delivery to users in geographically distributed locations or different departments, among them: remote content servers with distributed storage areas, federations with replication, and Branch Office Caching Services (BOCS).  When we, as OnDemand Architects, looked at our customer needs and use cases, it became apparent that BOCS would be instrumental in providing remote users the experience they expected – which essentially boils down to application and content access on par with a local deployment.

Working with our customers in the real world, we have seen that web application access for remote users (whether via Webtop, D2, or xCP 2.0) is not signficantly impaired by the incremental increase in latency to return HTML/JS/CSS.  The primary factor in application response and users’ perception of performance was the time it takes to transfer content during import, export, and checkin/checkout operations.

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EMC OnDemand: OnDemand versus Amazon EC2

As you can imagine, potential customers have a lot of very legitimate questions when considering the move to EMC OnDemand.  For both new customers as well as those who are migrating their existing content into the EMC secure private cloud one of the questions we hear a lot is, “Why would I choose EMC OnDemand instead of Amazon EC2?”.

I love this question.  It gives us a chance to talk about all the EMC OnDemand value-add without the appearance of grandstanding.  And in the end, it is clear to everyone this is an apples to oranges question, but the explanation allows us to highlight some key points that resonate very deeply with an EMC customer evaluating cloud offerings.

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