Cool Tools 15: Atlassian Crowd

It’s official: I’m pretty much out of the kind of “Cool Tools” that started the feature in the first place.  I’m pretty sure I’ve covered every tool that I regularly use during the administration of the Plumtree/ ALUI/ WCI portal.  So while I may have a genuine new “Cool Tool” at some point, this category will mostly apply to different applications that augment or replace pieces of functionality in the out-of-the-box WebCenter Interaction product stack.

It’s also (mostly) official that WebCenter Interaction is winding down as a product line, and many clients are formulating their strategy for the next couple years.  While WCI isn’t going to go away tomorrow, at Integryst we’ve been working with a lot of different technologies to help clients evaluate “what’s next”.  It’s clear that there are pretty much three directions clients may pursue:

  1. Stay on the Oracle Gravy Train and work on a migration plan to WebCenter Spaces and the rest of the Oracle stack
  2. Move to a similar competitive enterprise project – particularly, Microsoft SharePoint
  3. Look at building a best-of-breed open-source/inexpensive solution by tying together a bunch of great products

None of these are bad approaches, and in fact all of them are appropriate in different client situations, depending on the portal profile and business requirements.  But expect to see more of option #3 in these pages in the coming months.

As such, let me introduce you to Atlassian’s Crowd.  Crowd is a Single Sign-on product that allows you to stitch together a bunch of disparate web applications together by allowing users to log into one application and navigate to another without having to log in again.  It allows you to create various directories (LDAP, AD, custom sources), and surface those user accounts to different applications (Confluence, Jira, and even – with some custom code – applications like WebCenter Interaction), and has integration points at pretty much every level of the stack.

You’ll be hearing more about Crowd in upcoming posts, as well as some pretty slick hybrid integration solutions that won’t completely lock you in to the Oracle stack, if that’s the way you might be rolling.  Stay tuned!

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