Open-Source Projects Collaborate to Benefit the Community (DRAFT)
The Internet2 Middleware Initiative and the Kuali Foundation have announced the integration of two key elements of their identity management (IdM) offerings. Internet2's Grouper Groups Management Toolkit now integrates with the Kuali Rice software. "Alignment of open source projects yields significant benefits for the higher education IT community," said Tom Barton, Senior Director for Integration at the University of Chicago and Chair of the Grouper Working Group. "We believe this Grouper Kuali integration is an important part of a broad effort to promote the synergies between various open-source IdM efforts.
<quote from KUALI here. Jennifer Foutty will obtain quote>
In the case of the Grouper Kuali integration, multiple benefits will be immediately available. Users of Kuali Rice will be able to leverage the extensive group management capability offered by Grouper. At the same time, campuses using Grouper will be able to interface their group and attribute information with the Kuali Rice modules, including Kuali Identity Management (KIM), Kuali Enterprise Workflow (KEW) and Kuali Enterprise Notification (KEN).
The idea of a collaboration between the Grouper and Kuali projects began several years ago when it was realized that interfacing Grouper and Kuali could have many benefits to the community. The collaboration truly ramped up based on fruitful discussions at the June 2009 Advance CAMP in Philadelphia. The Advance CAMP, cosponsored by Internet2, EDUCAUSE, and Jasig, was a unique forum for improving channels for collaboration and alignment between community source projects. "At the end of the Advance CAMP in Philadelphia, Eric Westfall of Kuali and I publically committed to attempt the Grouper Kuali integration starting in the winter of 2009-2010," Barton explains.
With highly motivated team members from both projects leading the way, the collaboration progressed smoothly. Chris Hyzer of University of Pennsylvania served as the point person from the Grouper team. Eric Westfall from Indiana University, Jeremy Hanson from Iowa State University, and Garey Taylor from University of Maryland were key collaboraters from the Kuali Rice team. While most of the collaboration was handled remotely via emails -- as is frequently the case for open-source software -- there was also productive face-to-face communication at the November 2009 Kuali Days Conference in San Antonio. The effort to create the vital links between the two projects was successful, and Hyzer demonstrated the Grouper Kuali integration at the Spring 2010 Internet2 Member Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. With the recent release of Grouper version 1.6, the Grouper Kuali integration became available to users.
An early adopter of the Grouper Kuali integration will be the University of Pennsylvania, which for several years has been using Grouper to manage course, affiliate, and ad-hoc groups. University of Pennsylvania wanted to take advantage of the workflow features offered in Kuali Rice, and this integration will enable them to do that.
"Penn is converting paper access forms to electronic forms in order to improve service to our clients and tighten overall security." explains Jim Johnson, Director of Data Administration at University of Pennsylvania. "Grouper/Kuali Rice integration enables faster provisioning of access to electronic services for authorized users, allowing them to be productive sooner. Exposure to manual errors that can lead to the assignment of incorrect access privileges is reduced. It has the added benefit of reducing effort expended in security administration which can be redirected to other activities and creates an audit trail that can be used for reporting and troubleshooting."
In addition to taking advantage of the Kuali Rice workflow features, University of Pennsylvania intends to leverage the Grouper Kuali integration in another innovative area as well. University of Pennsylvania is a founding partner of Kuali Ole (Online Library Environment), and in the future, they expect to use the Grouper / Kuali Rice integration to feed group, identity and possibly role information into Ole.
The upcoming "Advance CAMP: Second Identity Services Summit," to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, in late June 2010, will continue the efforts towards alignment of open-source IdM software and may lead to additional collaborative projects. "Collaborations like this, to keep independent open-source efforts aligned, continue to need nurturing, and this is a major goal of our Advance CAMPs," said <Ken Klingenstein, Senior Director of the Internet2 Middleware and Security Initiatives. NEED TO CONFIRM THIS QUOTE WITH KEN > A key collaborative project on the horizon for the Grouper development team is to examine closer integration with Jasig's uPortal framework.
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About the Kuali Foundation
The Kuali Foundation (www.kuali.org) is a growing community of universities, colleges, businesses, and other organizations that have partnered to build and sustain open-source administrative software for higher education, by higher education. Kuali software is designed to meet the needs of all sizes of institutions, from land-grant research universities to community colleges. Members of the Kuali Community share a common vision of open, modular, and distributed systems for their software requirements. Kuali software is released under the Educational Community License. The Kuali Projects are tied together by the Kuali Foundation, a non-profit organization that coordinates the efforts of partners, manages and protects the community's intellectual property, and handles common concerns among the Kuali Projects.