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Identity data services
I suppose many of us who've built a "person registry" or an "identity database" over the years are, to varying degrees, in the business of distributing various identity-related data to individuals and applications on our campuses.
In our case, this "service" has grown incrementally over time -- we receive requests for data from those who want a single, authoritative, central source (as opposed to systems of record that focus on a particular constituency, like an HR system). So we rig up data feeds, add data to LDAP, create reports, maybe even create web services...
Anyway, we're doing some strategic planning, and I'm wondering what we should aim for in the category of identity-related data services.
* A reasonable business to be in ?
* How should we make data available going forward ?
* What should be the core elements of an "identity data service" ?
* What kinds of "raw" data should we make available ? e.g.
-- basic identifying information that we use in uniquely identifying an individual
-- basic bio/demo data
-- basic affiliation information
-- a person's "profile" information
-- geo-location information (if we have it?)
-- group membership info
-- role assignment info
My initial thoughts are:
* this -is- a reasonable business to be in, to some degree
* but gotta be scalable
* so de-emphasize push models (like outbound data feeds); emphasize pull models, e.g. central data in a directory; web services for people to use
All thoughts welcome.
- Gary Chapman
Sr IT Architect, NYU