Data transformation and attribute flow without writing code: functions to the rescue!

If you read the post on setting up the synchronization rule for the flowing of Computers to AD, you'll notice we make use of a concatenation option to concatenate multiple values and flow them to a destination attribute.  Concatenation is an example of a data transformation function that allows you to operate on and transform data you wish to use in the context of an attribute flow or workflow.  In ILM "2" you have over a dozen such functions available for you to use.  These functions are a critical aspect of "codeless" provisioning in ILM "2". 

In future posts I will dive into detail on specific functions and how you can use them to support your scenarios.  For now I want to introduce you all to this piece of functionality you may not be aware of.   To begin using these functions, either a)create an action workflow with the function activity or b)create an attribute flow for a synchronization rule.

The inclusion of functions in attribute flows means you can construct flows that involve more than just a simple attribute to attribute flow without writing any code.  For those of you that are familiar with writing scripted attribute flow in ILM 2007, you'll immediately appreciate some of these functions as they remove the need for writing custom code for many of the attribute flows you require.

It's easy to identify a case where you require the use of a function.  Perhaps you wish to generate a random password to flow for a new user account that is provisioned.  The screenshot below, from the synchronization rule designer, demonstrates the use of the concatenation and random number functions to create a password that consists of the string "Password" concatenated with a random number.  Of course we could define a more complex password, but this illustrates a simple example of how we can use functions.

Stay tuned for a detailed overview of specific functions.

 - Nima