Use Generic File Driver To Test and Improve Delivery Times In NetIQ IDM

When developing a solution for a NetIQ IDM Solution a lot of time can quickly be eaten up when authoritative data isn’t available to develop or test against.

Example, a SAP HR driver requires iDocs to be received and coordinated with the HR department. When testing or developing a solutions use cases, waiting for data from the authoritative source can greatly effect the timing of the project. An HR system may be limited in the amount of data and frequency of the data they can send, especially in a staging environment where production business processes are followed closely.

An approach worth considering to save time would be to also build out the Generic File Driver in tandem to building out the driver(s) in question. The driver is based off of the Delimited Text driver but is enhanced to be much easier to get up and running. The purpose of the Generic File driver in this instance is to use it for testing purposes. Rather than waiting for authoritative data to test against, you can simulate data through the Generic File driver with data that would conform to the solution requirements. The driver could remain in staging or your dev environments for future phases.

Once the authoritative driver and its logic is installed proceed with the following:

– Download and follow the install instructions for the Generic File Driver. Install the driver into your Development or Staging environment. To download the driver, you can go to: https://www.netiq.com/communities/cool-solutions/cool_tools/generic-file-driver-idm-v-003/    —- Note that the Generic File Driver was written by Stefaan Van Cauwenberge. Stefann’s website is: http://vancauwenberge.info/#home 

– Take the configuration from the authoritative driver in question and put it into the Generic File Driver.  Example, with a SAP HR driver, copy over the GCV, policies, schema, and filter that would be unique to the implementation. It wouldn’t be useful to pull over SAP specific policies that are specific to the SAP system, but do bring over the matching, creation and placement policies and other policies and rules that are specific to the solution being built out.

– Create a CSV file where the first line is the header information / Application Schema. Change the Publisher configuration option, “Has the CSV file a header (true/false)” from false to true.  See image below.

publisher-config

Example of the Application Schema on the first line of the CSV file, acting as the header: VORNA,NACHN,MIDNM,RUFNM,PERNR,USRID,USRID_LONG,MASSN,MASSG,HireIndicator,TM_INDICATOR,LAND1

-Populate the rest of the CSV file to contain the needed information that would simulate data coming from the application.

Example:  Roger,Patterson,James,Jim,54893,,,,,,1SO,US

csv

-You now have the ability to populate your CSV file and put it in the “in” directory for the Generic File Driver to simulate your policies. Make sure you have the “in” directory path built out and configured in the driver.

-As  you receive authoritative data, such as an iDoc for the driver you are building the solution for, you can analyze the data received and simulate that data through the Generic File Driver as well to test different outcomes with data missing or being available with different syntax, etc. You can then run the logic through your Generic File Driver as often as you like without having to request another iDoc.

This logic won’t account for all of the testing scenarios, but it may cover 80 – 90% of the logic you are building out. You could simulate this through a policy simulator with input documents, but pushing through a CSV through the Generic File Driver in tandem to data running normalized through your authoritative solution driver increases the likely hood of catching issues prior to UAT and production.

Below are some screenshots of an initial Generic File Driver being configured for a SAP System

create policy

Schema mapping

Notice that the schema mapping doesn’t conform to a SAP HR driver as it doesn’t have the iDoc segment location and length, etc. This is okay as we are looking at testing the logic and not the configuration of the SAP driver itself.

Even though this blog is referencing testing, do look closer at the Generic File Driver and all of its feature set. It can handle XML and XSLT files too.

Another testing tool that can be used in conjunction to this methodology would be to use Validator. It is a licensed product from NetIQ. It does not provide this same functionality, but would be a compliment in automating the testing and limit validations and reporting of the test results.