Using lists in Identity IQ workflows at approval steps

Sailpoint’s Identity IQ converts all the empty lists that go through an approval step in a workflow into NULL values. This does not hold the same with non-empty lists.

null diagram

For example, we have a global variable in the workflow which is an empty ArrayList ( [] ). It is going to be converted to ( NULL ) once it goes through an approval step. So in order that the lists work as per our need, we could provide a dummy value so that list is never converted to NULL when it goes through an approval.

Enabling Oracle Linux to listen for requests over the network

Oracle Linux has a default firewall in the name of package “iptables“. This firewall is enabled by default when installed .Without disabling or modifying it we could not access most of the  services provided by the Linux. For example, you may not be able to access your database and tomcat over the network.

We can disable the firewall by following the below procedure :

Firstly we need to install the iptables-services package by using following command –

sudo yum install iptables-services

Next disable the firewall by using following commands:

sudo service iptables start

sudo service iptables stop 

sudo chkconfig iptables off

To punch or block specific ports and for more information , refer to the following link.

Oracle Database Installation – Circumventing the requirement for pdksh package


Oracle Database 11G R2 has many packages as dependencies. Amongst such packages is pdksh packages which is no longer a part of yum repositories. The pdksh is not  needed as long as your ksh package is installed. Oracle Linux has ksh installed by default. Trying to install the pdksh using rpm could cause a conflict between these packages.

Problems with pdksh could be easily resolved by modifying the configuration of the verification utility of the oracle database. By default, this utility assumes that the Linux distribution being used is OEL4. All the dependencies were verified considering the OEL4. Changing the value of Linux distribution being used could solve the problem with pdksh. If you are using OEL 6, change the value of Linux distribution OEL6. Similarly if you are using OEL 7 , change the value of Linux distribution to OEL7.


Following are the exact instructions regarding the procedure.


Let   <db_extract>      be the location of your database extract.

cd   <db_extract>/database/stage/cvu/admin/

vim cvu_config

The following screenshots guide you regarding the same:


  1. Navigating to the required directory
  2. Default cvu_config


3.Modified cvu_config


You should be finding a property named CVU_ASSUME_DISTID whose default value is OEL4

If you are using OEL6 change it to OEL6. If you are using OEL7 change it to OEL7.

Restart the configuration utility and you should not be finding the requirement for pdksh anymore.

Solving the problem with ‘&’ character while importing files into IdentityIQ

Sailpoint’s IdentityIQ uses xml files for importing various objects like applications, rules. If you have a script that uses a ‘logical and’ (&)  in your code , normally the import fails. This is because of the way in which normal xml files are read. This is one of the special characters.

To solve the problem replace all the ‘logical and’s which are represented by the character ‘&’ to ‘&amp;’. This would make your import successful.

Kindly observe the following screenshot for reference:

ampersand in xml

Find related information at this link.

IdentityIQ Migration from MySQL to Oracle database

Sailpoint’s IdentityIQ migration from Oracle Database to MySQL could probably cause a problem with  work items, event logs, identity requests. Creation of work items, event logs, identity requests fail with the following error :

“unable to find the sequence”

The problem was caused because of migration to the Oracle database. Sailpoint’s IdentityIQ sql script for MySQL in IdentityIQ creates these sequences as tables and the same is translated into the Oracle database.

Here is how you solve the problem:-

IdentityIQ has 3 sequences in all.

  1. identityiq.spt_syslog_event_sequence.
  2. identityiq.spt_identity_request_sequence.
  3. identityiq.spt_work_item_sequence.

We can find the current values of these sequences by the following  queries on your new Oracle Database:

select * from spt_syslog_event_sequence

select * from spt_identity_request_sequence

select * from spt_work_item_sequence

Drop all these tables by the following queries:

drop table spt_syslog_event_sequence;

drop table spt_identity_request_sequence;

drop table spt_work_item_sequence;

Create the required sequences by the following queries:

create sequence identityiq.spt_syslog_event_sequence start with <current_sequence_value> increment by 1 nocache;

create sequence identityiq.spt_identity_request_sequence start with <current_sequence_value> increment by 1 nocache;

create sequence identityiq.spt_work_item_sequence start with <current_sequence_value> increment by 1 nocache;

Now that we have the sequences in place , creation of event logs,  work items, identity requests will be working fine.

Enabling group attributes with Delimited Files in IdentityIQ

It is very usual that delimited file applications can contain groups. Along with specifying group schema in configuration , we need to specify the group attribute i.e., the attribute which speaks about the membership of an account in a group.

In Sailpoint’s IdentityIQ 6.2 and previous versions, we have a GUI facility to mark such group attribute. From Sailpoint’s IdentityIQ 6.4, there is no such GUI facility to mark group attribute. This can be modified by modifying the definition in debug pages of IdentityIQ.

Here is how you mark group attribute:

  1.  Open the debugpages which are available at <iiqhostname>/debug
  2. Select Application as object Type and open the xml representing your application
  3. Go to the tag that defines schemas and then to the specific schema that represents your application accounts.
  4. Find the AttributeDefinition tag that represents your group attribute.
  5. Add the following attribute to that tag.


Please find the following screenshot for reference :-


Run required aggregations to see that your group structure is intact.


Understanding Identity Management


Mis-utilization of access controls in any system has been an age old problem. Such mis-utilizations lead to serious scandals similar to Enron and MF Global in USA and Satyam scandal in India. Also they would lead to serious internal losses in the organization which could have been prevented with an identity management solution in place.

The exploitation in access controls have grown to great extents that heavily stringent laws to be followed by every organization like SoX  and HIPAA have been enforced. The prime objectives of these laws is to strictly assess access control in an organization to ensure that best practices are followed to make sure access control is not misutilized.

IdentityLifeCycleSandilyaIdentity management is the domain which would help the organizations solve most of the problems related to access control that could be solved by proper authentication, authorization and accountability.

Identity management solves these problems by strictly monitoring the life-cycle of an enterprise identity. Identity management solutions automate the processes of joiner, mover, leaver (which are the various phases of life-cycle of digital identity).

IdentityLifeCycleTo monitor the JML process , identity management solutions follow various mechanisms through which CIA is actually achieved. The following are the mechanisms that are followed :

Maintaining and updating the identity repository :

An identity repository or identity vault is a huge collection of all the digital identities and a mapping of various access controls to each digital identity. It serves as base to any identity management operations.

Identity Vault Sandilya

Identity repository is created as a very first step of any identity management solution. This simply means that we have track of all the employees in the organization, their access controls to various organizational resources. Identity vault is very regularly updated to keep track any changes in the digital identities as well their access controls.

Provisioning / De-provisioning Automation :

Provisioning is the process of providing additional access controls in the organization. De-provisioning is the process of removing or disabling an access control for the resource. Both the processes are automated using the attributes or properties of an identity. For example, you may decide on a few access controls based on an employee’s designation attribute as an ‘IT-Manager’.

However, automation of provisioning and de-provisioning solely based on the identity’s attributes becomes highly complex. For easier management, identity management solutions use RBAC ( Role based access control ). As part of RBAC, virtual entities called roles are created, membership in which can lead to access to various resources. Now, the identity attributes are used to assign the memberships in these roles, thus reducing the complexity.

Process implementations :

Every organization has its own way of doing things. Hence it has its own processes that are internally followed to achieve. Similarly, there are processes that are related to the access controls. We digitally define such processes so that they could be automated . As a subpart of the processes, multiple series and parallel approvals can take place.

Certification :


Certification is a mechanism through which periodic monitoring of access controls take place. Access controls of various identities are forwarded to reporting identities where reporting identities can review the access.

Data Archival strategies :

Even with the best of the practices, there will be a need for archiving the data. Identity management solutions also aim to archiving the past data  that will not be useful in running the current state of solution.


Reporting :

While all the above mechanisms give a robust and secure system, it would be a lot convenient to have  various reports based on the data present with the identity management solutions. For example, SOX reports could be pulled out of the identity management solution very easily based on the access control data available with the solution. Also the reports would be helpful in making various business decisions internally.


World of BYO_

The world as we know has changed dramatically. With the infiltration of personal devices and plethora of applications which collect an individual’s data with/without his/her cognizance have made enterprises, especially government services vulnerable to data loss and its consequences. However, none of the new age ways of working might not be curbed anymore.

The prudent way to step ahead into future shall be to adopt ideas like BYOD, BYOI, Work from Home, Social media enablement into the work culture and let the workforce take the advantage of delivering better. While we adopt, so do we implement the Modern way of Information security.

Data and individual are mutually dependent. Thus protecting the way and means of how data is being accessed by individuals helps solve the jigsaw.

If BYOI may be implemented very well, it helps enterprises track the way an identity acts either in the enterprise or the rest of the world wide web. Social media access has become a huge threat where information might be cross its boundaries in stealth mode. The following steps are prescribed for a safe implementation of BYOI/D methodologies.

  1. Ensure every door opened technically has an authorized owner and there is strict accountability associated. This is technically possible.
  2. Ensure zero identity loss by eliminating passwords as much as possible. Passwords are a menace.
  3. Adopt techniques like biometrics, thermal scanning, retinal scans etc for high privileged accesses.
  4. Ensure all social identities are published. Audit for the unpublished identities.
  5. Have robust frameworks built for Mobile device management. These frameworks should be at application layer level on every device ensuring highest level tracking and auditing
  6. Build application development frameworks to ensure zero vulnerability in code.
  7. Last but not the least, educate everyone on social engineering, phishing and other fraudulent techniques.

Conduct periodic checks/audits to validate all identity related information.