Worlds First Virtual Directory Built on Node.js®

Posted by Chris Hayes on Thu, Feb 05, 2015
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EmpowerID has cleaned the dust off of the Virtual Directory market with the world's first Virtual Directory Service written in Node.js and integrated it with our world class IAM Suite.

Virtual Directory Services (VDS) are supposed to aggregate identity and user information stored across data stores into a single point of access.  The dirty little secret of the market is latency when the VDS is returning indentity information.  This compounds itself again and again when making LDAP calls.  Some have tried to move from a "Proxy" view and use a Cached view, but I/O is still slow.

EmpowerID looked at the current VDS landscape, identified issues and built our VDS from the ground up on Node.js.  Compared to legacy VDS technology that spawns a new thread for each connection or request and takes up RAM, Node.js operates on a single-thread using a different type of I/O call.  This allows it to support tens of thousands of concurrent connections.
toptal blog 1 BPicture from toptal.com Why use Node.js
So, why use EmpowerID's VDS?
  • Highly Scalable, a VDS should be able to handle incoming LDAP connection requests and we do it better than anyone in the industry.
  • Data Transformation allows you to easily support legacy apps that require a fixed schema
  • Persistent Metadirectory Cache that automatically refreshes the source data
  • Ties in with full IAM Suite from EmpowerID.
  • Group-based authorization and provisioning for all of your authentication endpoints
  • Application authorization provides a virtual view of all existing groups
  • Easily onboard new organizations' directory stores into a unified view
  • Create a single unified user profile from your disparate user stores

Ready to learn more?

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Tags: IAM, Federation, Virtual Directory, VDS

Virtual Directory for application authentication

Posted by Edward Killeen on Wed, Jul 17, 2013

Whether you are building a new application or trying to retire the old legacy directory for an old application, having a virtual directory directly tied to your identity directory gives you great flexibility.

EmpowerID maintains a metadirectory that inventories and updates all of your various identity stores on a continuous basis, keeping a single unified "person view" of each user, whether they be internal or external.  This metadirectory can be used for a lot more than Identity and Access Management (IAM), however.

But rather than synchronize all of this identity information to yet another directory, EmpowerID's Virtual Directory allows you to present this metadirectory identity information as LDAP.  EmpowerID roles are presented as LDAP groups and you can maintain the exact schema required for the application without having to manage another directory.

This virtual directory is especially useful for applications that require internal and external users to both have access, replacing the need to have external users inside of your corporate directory.  As LDAP, users on any OS can access, authenticate and authorize against the directory.

Virtual Directory for application authentication

By using this virtual directory as your application directory, you no longer have to worry about separate provisioning and de-provisioning as all of the workflows around user management are included in your IAM, you simply create a role based provisioning workflow to create accounts in the virtual directory based on user attributes.  You can offer self registration, password management, single sign-on, and RBAC policies to apply to what your user can and cannot do in the application.

Since all of EmpowerID is workflow based and can be managed with APIs and web services, you can even build the management of these users into your application, lessening the learning curve for administration of the application

Virtual directories that are separate from your IAM have many of the same challenges as legacy directories, take a look at what you would need to integrate the two and take advantage of all of the IAM capabilities for your application.

Tags: Virtual Directory, Identity and Access Management (IAM)