I have made some comments about FIM, and Oracle Identity Manager. I want to talk briefly about Sun. After I read through the architecture documents and looking at the development my initial thought is that the performance should be quick and scalable but development and creation of workflows slow and cumbersome. I contacted people I know who use the product in large enterprise to verify if my prediction was accurate or not and I was 100% successful. This little sample should only be considered anecdotal, the sample was not significant and I would welcome comments from others using Sun’s solution.
For me the most bizaare element of the product is XPRESS language. It is symbolic of the idiocy that saw XML as an answer regardless of the question. “XPRESS is an XML based expression and scripting language,” the documentation reads. We have symbolic expressions (S Expressions) with the ugliness of XML tags. When Jon Bosak began to argue for XML in 1997(?), it was stated that that the tags would tell the computer what the information was, unlike html that said what it should look like. It was to be a data interchange standard with industry groups agreeing on standard ontologies. It was just five years later some people on XML-Dev argued that the semantic aspect of XML never existed that it essence was syntactical so by 2003 some had already forgotten why it was first proposed. No need to worry because it quickly morphed into a data model with it’s own query language. In short order we were back to the seventies with the network database. So it comes as no surprise that a language like XPRESS arrives (based on the XML fad) which is back to the 1950’s and LISP.