This page shares a bit of Grouper Project history.
Building Grouper has been and continues to be a broad and impressive community effort.
Thanks to everyone who has helped build Grouper and the Grouper community. There is a partial list of acknowledgements on the Grouper webpage.
A group management tool was part of the original thinking of RL Bob Morgan, University of Washington, and others for the Internet2 Middleware Initiative. I recall group management being mentioned in the Fall 1999 Internet2 meeting in Seattle.
The early interest in groups was driven by two thoughts – when you have a bunch of good identities, the first thing you want to do is put them into groups, and groups were thought to be (and still are) the simple way to do role-based access control. That vision was temporarily parked as we began the federated identity development, which led to the InCommon Federation.
Tom Barton, the primary architect and genius behind Grouper, entered the Internet2 sphere as an early adopter at University of Memphis, and began work on Grouper. This would date the start of Grouper to the first NMI grant, circa fall 2000. For more on NMI, see http://www.nmi-edit.org/
Grouper Version 0.5 was released around December 2004 as part of NSF Middleware Initiative's 6th release of components (ppt)
The first message to the grouper-users list was to announce the release of version 0.5:
https://lists.internet2.edu/sympa/arc/grouper-users/2004-12/msg00000.html From: Tom Barton <> To: grouper-users, grouper-dev Subject: 2 Grouper news items Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 13:37:23 -0600 1. The first release of Grouper, v0.5, has been finalized for inclusion in the NSF Middleware Initiative's Release 6, to be announced early next week. A Grouper website has been created and linked on the MACE-Dir-Groups website. The Grouper website has the grouper-0.5 source tarball, related documentation, and links to the project bugzilla and anoncvs web access to the software. MACE-Dir-Groups website: http://middleware.internet2.edu/dir/groups/ Grouper website: http://middleware.internet2.edu/dir/groups/grouper/ 2. Gary Brown of the University of Bristol has made a demo of the prototype Grouper UI available for working group members to play with and comment on. Try it at http://portal.bris.ac.uk/GroupsManager/ Read about its underpinnings, limitations, and specifically solicited feedback at http://portal.bris.ac.uk/GroupsManager/doc/Readme.html Tom
Version 0.6 (Sep 2005) was the second public release, and the first to include a UI.
July 17, 2008: Last release 1.3.0 of Signet (a similar privilege management system that shared subject API code with Grouper)
2008-2009: UPenn contributed significant enhancements (ppt) leading up to version 1.4:
July 17, 2014
The demo subject LDAP database "KITN" (which still exists in Grouper's subject/testDB/ldap directory) refers to the fictitious "Kern Institute of Technology, Northam", a mock database originally created for the Signet project. The name was originally the "Kansas Institute of Technology Nashville" which appears in some earlier presentations.
For foundational Grouper documents see this wiki
2013 at Identity Week in Burlingame, CA
2014 at Internet2 Technology Exchange in Indianapolis
2015 at Internet2 Technology Exchange in Cleveland
2017 Grouper session at Internet2 Technology Exchange in San Francisco
2017 Grouper BOF at Internet2 Technology Exchange in San Francisco
2019 Grouper BOF at Internet2 Technology Exchange in New Orleans
Grouper Development ChangeLog