IDM 7.5.0

Architectural overview

This topic introduces the IDM architecture, and describes component modules and services, such as:

  • How IDM uses the OSGi framework as a basis for its modular architecture.

  • How the infrastructure modules provide the features required for IDM’s core services.

  • What those core services are and how they fit in to the overall architecture.

  • How IDM provides access to the resources it manages.

Modular framework

IDM implements infrastructure modules that run in an OSGi framework. It exposes core services through RESTful APIs to client applications.

IDM consists of infrastructure modules running in an OSGi framework, exposing core services through RESTful APIs to client applications.
Figure 1. Modular Architecture Overview

The IDM framework is based on OSGi:


OSGi is a module system and service platform for the Java programming language that implements a complete and dynamic component model. For more information, refer to What is OSGi? IDM runs in Apache Felix, an implementation of the OSGi Framework and Service Platform.


The Servlet layer provides RESTful HTTP access to the managed objects and services. IDM embeds the Jetty Servlet Container, which can be configured for either HTTP or HTTPS access.

Infrastructure modules

The infrastructure modules provide the underlying features needed for core services:

BPMN 2.0 Workflow Engine

The embedded workflow and business process engine is based on Flowable and the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 standard.

For more information, refer to Workflow.

Task Scanner

The task scanner performs a batch scan for a specified property, on a scheduled interval, then executes a task when the value of that property matches a specified value.


The scheduler supports Quartz cron triggers and simple triggers. Use the scheduler to trigger regular reconciliations, liveSync, and scripts, to collect and run reports, to trigger workflows, and to perform custom logging.

Script Engine

The script engine is a pluggable module that provides the triggers and plugin points for IDM.

IDM supports JavaScript and Groovy.

Policy Service

An extensible policy service applies validation requirements to objects and properties, when they are created or updated.

Audit Logging

Auditing logs all relevant system activity to the configured log stores. This includes the data from reconciliation as a basis for reporting, as well as detailed activity logs to capture operations on the internal (managed) and external (system) objects.

For more information, refer to Configure audit logging.


The repository provides a common abstraction for a pluggable persistence layer. IDM supports reconciliation and synchronization with several major external data stores in production, including relational databases, LDAP servers, and even flat CSV and XML files.

The repository API uses a JSON-based object model with RESTful principles consistent with the other IDM services. To facilitate testing, IDM includes an embedded instance of ForgeRock Directory Services (DS). In production, you must use a supported repository, as described in Select a repository.

Core services

The core services are the heart of the resource-oriented unified object model and architecture:

Object Model

Artifacts handled by IDM are Java object representations of the JavaScript object model as defined by JSON. The object model supports interoperability and potential integration with many applications, services, and programming languages.

IDM can serialize and deserialize these structures to and from JSON as required. IDM also exposes a set of triggers and functions that you can define in scripts, which can natively read and modify these JSON-based object model structures.

Managed Objects

A managed object is an object that represents the identity-related data managed by IDM. Managed objects are configurable, JSON-based data structures that IDM stores in its pluggable repository. The default managed object configuration includes users and roles, but you can define any kind of managed object, for example, groups or devices.

You can access managed objects over the REST interface with a query similar to the following:

curl \
--header "X-OpenIDM-Username: openidm-admin" \
--header "X-OpenIDM-Password: openidm-admin" \
--header "Accept-API-Version: resource=1.0" \
--request GET \
System Objects

System objects are pluggable representations of objects on external systems. For example, a user entry that is stored in an external LDAP directory is represented as a system object in IDM.

System objects follow the same RESTful resource-based design principles as managed objects. They can be accessed over the REST interface with a query similar to the following:

curl \
--header "X-OpenIDM-Username: openidm-admin" \
--header "X-OpenIDM-Password: openidm-admin" \
--header "Accept-API-Version: resource=1.0" \
--request GET \

There is a default implementation for the ICF framework, that allows any connector object to be represented as a system object.


Mappings define policies between source and target objects and their attributes during synchronization and reconciliation. Mappings can also define triggers for validation, customization, filtering, and transformation of source and target objects.

For more information, refer to Resource mapping.

Reconciliation and Automatic Synchronization

Reconciliation enables on-demand and scheduled resource comparisons between the managed object repository and the source or target systems. Comparisons can result in different actions, depending on the mappings defined between the systems.

Automatic synchronization enables creating, updating, and deleting resources from a source to a target system, either on demand or according to a schedule.

For more information, refer to Synchronization types.

Access layer

The access layer provides the user interfaces and public APIs for accessing and managing the repository and its functions:

RESTful Interfaces

IDM provides REST APIs for CRUD operations, for invoking synchronization and reconciliation, and to access several other services.

For more information, refer to the REST API reference.

User Interfaces

User interfaces provide access to most of the functionality available over the REST API.

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