This section provides a brief explanation of commonly used terms within OpenIAM. This section also tries to draw parallels between terminology used in OpenIAM in comparison with those used by other vendors.


Authoritative source - Applications that are the issuing source of a type of information. For example, in a corporate IAM solution, the human resource (HR) system is often the authoritative source for employee information. The HR information maybe augmented with information from other applications which are considered to be authoritative for attributes not found in the HR system.

Authentication provider - Authentication providers are used to configure SSO interactions using SAML, oAuth and OpenID Connector


Connectors - Software in OpenIAM that is used to integrate with applications for the purpose of provisioning, deprovisioning, password changes, etc.

Content provider - Content providers are Alias which map to a URL or domain. For example, a content provider can map to Linked to this content provider are policies, themes, etc.


Groovy script - Scripting language used in OpenIAM to both extend the platform and introduce customizations which are needed in a deployment. Groovy script is based on a the Java language.


Identity - An identity in OpenIAM refers to an account in an application.


Managed system - Managed systems are applications where OpenIAM is handling the provisioning and deprovisioning. Managed systems are a type of resource.


nmap - a Unix system call that maps files or devices into memory


Reconciliation - Scheduled process in OpenIAM which is used to compare data in OpenIAM with the data in the target application. If discrepancies are found, then rules can be configured to take the appropriate action.


Synchronization - Scheduled process in OpenIAM which can used for both:

  • Importing data from external sources into the OpenIAM repository
  • Automated provisioning where data obtained from a source system is used to provision / deprovision data from applications connected to OpenIAM using connectors.