For many years, I’ve been working in collaboration with the Sun access management product team, as it started working on the Directory Server Access Management Edition (DSAME) product that years later became Sun Access Manager and OpenSSO. And now that I’m at ForgeRock, I have the pleasure to keep working with some members of that team, on OpenAM, the continuation of the OpenSSO open source project.
My knowledge of the product is rather shallow as I’ve worked on several case studies or issues related to customers and LDAP directory servers, but I never had a chance to deploy a service for production use or even extensive testing.
So when I learnt that Packt Publishing was releasing a book on “OpenAM”, writen by Indira Thangasamy, an ex-colleague of mine and manager of the Quality Assurance team, I asked if I could get a copy for review, which Packt kindly agreed to.
I haven’t finished the book yet, as it’s over 250 pages of content, covering all aspects of the OpenAM software, from its history, its components and services, to its integration with Google Apps or SalesForce… But from what I’ve read (about 2/3 of the book), I can say that the book is easy to read and well organized. It helps a beginner to grasp the concepts and starts using the product, thanks to the detailed explanations and diagrams. As the chapters advance and dive into specific technical areas, Indira uses real-world examples and simple code or commands, followed by detailed description to illustrate what OpenAM does or does not, giving a comprehensive picture of the fully featured product.
Some of the features of OpenAM are not covered in the book, like Federation or the most recent Entitlement Services or Secure Token Services. I hope they will be covered in a revised edition or may be another book, as these features are becoming more used and important to enterprise security and access management.
In summary, if you’re about to, or have just started to engage on a project with OpenAM, this book will help you understand the technology and ease your ramping up. But even for the more experienced users of OpenAM, the book contains full of details, tips and example that will save you time and make you more efficient.