SiteMinder Versus Custom Code

| 2 Comments

The benefits of using a Single Sign-On system are endless. User-rights are tightly integrated with user and company policies and these policies are all centralized in data center or such within a given organization. Users have only one identity (user IDs and Passwords) to maintain. Companies have the feeling of security that all the entry points to a number of applications and data are secured in the LDAP Directory which controls the company’s user and password-policy. Now that Single Sing-On has been defined and the positives aspects have been discussed what are your options when it comes to Single Sing-On web applications. I will discuss two which are: SiteMinder Custom Solution What is CA SiteMinder? It is a centralized Web access management system that enables user authentication and single sign-on, authentication management, policy-based authorization, identity federation and auditing of access to Web applications and portals. What security challenges does it meet? It enables you to mitigate IT security-related risks and reduce application development and operational costs, while enhancing the user’s experience and easing regulatory compliance. Why should you care? In my humble opinion SiteMinder provides a single authentication module for any portal or a single web application for a variety of possible reasons. It addresses key authentication, authorization and …

Continue reading

Microsoft Certifications

| 0 comments

During my career as a Software Engineer (SE) I have never took the time to obtain any Microsoft Certification what so ever. I am curious what others in this field think about certifications in general. I have been a SE for fourteen years now and while I do not claim to be an expert and I am always learning with each passing day. I just never had the desire to obtain a certification which I always felt said “look at me, I passed a written test” so I must know what I am doing. Now, I am not saying certifications provide no value here but one must not believe that just because an individual is certified that they are a great SE. Trust me, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to work with people over the years who do have some knowledge and are great at test taking. However a great number of these people have more often than not had a great number of basic questions that leads me to believe they are not the expert their resume and certifications represent them to be. Have you found yourself in such a situation? According to Microsoft The Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) program …

Continue reading

The Life And Times Of A Software Developer

| 0 comments

Today I was reading the article Programming Sucks! Or At Least, It Ought To from The Daily WTF and Programming: Love It or Leave It from Coding Horror and this got me to thinking about the pros and cons of software development. I am sure that there a great number of you out there that one time or another found yourself having to make due with the tools and equipment you have knowing all to well that you could perform you just much better if management would just invest money to make money. Now I admit that I am not an artist so do not laugh at my stickman drawing. Does this sound familiar to you at all? What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you ever found yourself neck deep in a project and fighting the clock when your tools you have are inadequate? If so I would love to hear your opinion on this matter. Here are just a few of my thoughts: Customers not understanding what they want. Poor specifications. Changing specifications. Why must a developer have the same spec for his or her development box as the manager who fires up Excel and Outlook. Inheriting a software …

Continue reading

Understanding SMTP Status Codes

| 0 comments

Many programmers take processing email as one of those actions that is easily implemented and rarely fails. If you have not read my earlier post How-to: Easily Sent Emails With .NET you want to review this example. One would greatly benefit from understanding the status code result from the attempt to process emails and the .NET framework provides the tools you need to successfully perform this exact task. The System.Net.Mail Namespace provides the SmtpStatusCode Enumeration which will provide a fine level of detail to the programmer thus allowing for better informed decisions. For example, assume that you have a requirement to notify an individual via email on a particular event such as a daily report. A common issue that I hear all too often from individuals that their mailbox is full and they could not receive my report. In this event I am going to provide logic to my application in which I can send the report to an alternate point of contact. This way your customer, boss, or who ever the end user gets the report and you come off looking like the hero. using System; using System.Collections.Generic; using System.Net.Mail; using System.Text; public class MyClass { public static void …

Continue reading

Scott Hansleman Provides A Step-By-Step: How To “Upgrade” from Windows XP to Windows 7

| 0 comments

At The time of this post I have not purchased Windows 7 yet and the only reason I have not is there is rumor that Microsoft may be lowering the price for a limited time. I am simply sitting on the sidelines to see if there is any truth to this matter. The rumors of the potential price drop comes from Apple’s release of Snow Leopard in September 2009 at a cost of $29.00 for an upgrade. If you have any XP systems that you want to upgrade, then Scott has a very detailed write-up on how one may upgrade from XP to Win7. You’ve likely heard that you can’t straight upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. You can upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, but not from XP to 7. Some folks who apparently have a pile of operating systems discs have proposed that one could upgrade from XP to Vista, then from Vista to Windows 7, but I think that’s insane. Most PC experts will recommend you start fresh and “pave” your machine anyway. I think this is a hassle, but in the case of XP to 7, it’s necessary. [ More at Scott Hansleman's Computer Zen ]