When I am out evangelizing the MIIS platform to application owners and developers, many can see the potential in having a Meta-Directory of information regarding a person. After giving presentations on how we can aggregate all of that disparate data into a common view, the question that often comes up is: How can my application access to the MetaVerse?
Unfortunately for them, answer is that they cannot get to the MetaVerse data.
The MetaVerse is a logical data store within the MIIS platform, which is not addressable outside of the MIIS console itself. Since the internal structure is residing in a SQL database, it would be possible to "hack" access to the underlying tables, but this is not something that is supported, and not something I would ever recommend trying.
The easier and more efficient way is to provision that person object (or any other object you are using) into another data source that is addressable outside of the MIIS platform. This can give you the flexibility to utilize that consolidated data view of the person in new ways. You can choose to export data and secure it in the data source to allow or prevent access.
Provision to ADAM/LDAP
I have used this extensively, since a directory structure matches closely with the internal structure of MIIS. Since it’s in a common LDAP directory it is simple to allow other applications to utilize the data for data lookups, or data extractions.
I have written a nice .NET white pages web app that users can use to search and browse the public information that was populated from the combined MetaVerse data. As the data changes in the authoritative sources (Active Directory, Phone system, etc.) the data is updated in the LDAP Directory near real-time making it the most up to date source of data about a person. The other benefit is, that using Web Services, the use of this data can be extended to applications that are not LDAP capable themselves. Imagine instead of manual data entry into a request form, all the of the data can be imported by a request from a web service reducing the need error rate on input.
Provision to Database
Another common data source to export to is a database. ODBC compliant applications can utilize the data within their application from a central source where reporting, re-certification, applications can be developed from the MV data. I am particularly fond of SQL reporting Services 2005 reports that can be generated from the MV data.
Provision to other formats
It has been my experience when dealing with Lotus Notes databases, the developers tend to want to the data in a native NSF format. So creating a replica in an NSF is a simple way to extend the data to those applications, even if they are not capable of other means of getting it.
It is best to try and centralize the data stores as much as possible, because you don’t want to add overhead of those systems. Though with MIIS distributing common data to be consumed by enterprise applications is an easy way to bring standards and process and provide quality data to the environment.