|by Michael Hodges
Making independent systems work together as part of a coherent whole requires complex programming and Julio Polo is the mastermind behind identity integration at UH. Julio is a “middleware” programmer, writing the glue between disparate applications across multiple platforms.
Many information systems at UH administer information about people or services provided to people (Banner, PeopleSoft, SECE, MyUH Portal, etc.). Collecting and using consistent personal information across many online information systems is one of the challenges addressed by middleware and the UH Identity Management System (UHIMS). Middleware helps solve the challenge of identifying a single individual across the institution no matter how many roles they may have (student, faculty, staff, etc.) and how many different information systems may include their information. Middleware programmers develop business logic for ensuring that an individual has a single identity (and a single UH Number) across multiple systems and has access to all appropriate services provided by these systems.
The following graph illustrates the relationship between the information systems (Authoritative Sources of Data), the LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directories, and the applications that rely on the directories. Julio's UH Identity Management System (UHIMS) is the middleware that is in the center of it all, extracting data from the authoritative sources and keeping the directories updated.
LDAP deserves special mention because so many applications rely on it. LDAP is a standard way of accessing directory type of information. UHIMS provisions a variety of LDAP servers so that applications can properly identify, authenticate and authorize individuals. The core UH LDAP server is the general-purpose central directory than can be leveraged by any UH service.
The schema for this core LDAP server is based on the Internet2 Middleware Initiative “eduPerson” schema for which UH was one of the cited early adopters. More on the eduPerson LDAP schema can be found at: http://www.educause.edu/eduperson Additional information on LDAP at UH can be found at: http://www.hawaii.edu/ldap
Julio began his association with UH as a student employee in the UH Computing Center (UHCC) in 1986. He was a finalist for UH student of the year in 1988, and holds a B.S. in Information and Computer Sciences from UH Manoa. In 1989 he was hired as the first fulltime Site License Administrator at UHCC and has been with ITS since that time except for two years when he worked for a local Internet start-up company. Since rejoining ITS in 2000, his work has been focused on middleware and integration. Originally from South America, he speaks several languages including Spanish and the Hakka Chinese dialect. Julio is married with three children (the youngest born in an ambulance on the freeway last year), and he enjoys spending his leisure time going to movies.