4 March 2008
The Atlassian Crowd team is delighted to present Crowd 1.3. This release includes innovative solutions for LDAP group administration, cross-directory user imports and a streamlined management interface.
A new directory type allows you to combine the features of a Crowd directory with authentication delegated to an LDAP directory. This means that you can use Crowd's flexible group management when the LDAP groups do not suit your requirements. For example, set up a simple group configuration for use with Confluence, JIRA and other Atlassian products.
Our new Directory Importer allows you to copy your users from one directory into another — from and to any type of directory. For example, you can copy users, groups and roles from an LDAP directory to a Crowd directory, or vice versa.
The Crowd Administration Console has a new menu structure with an enhanced look and feel. It's easier to find the functions that you perform most often and interaction is more intuitive.
Installing and setting up Crowd is simpler and faster. Database configuration is now part of the Setup Wizard. When upgrading, you have the option to import your data from an XML backup or point Crowd at your existing database, and so bypass most of the Setup Wizard.
To speed up troubleshooting, you can configure your logging levels and enable performance profiling via the Administration Console. There's a bucketful of improvements in performance and efficiency, and many other fixes and enhancements.
Highlights of this release:
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Highlights of Crowd 1.3
LDAP Authentication with Crowd Groups and Roles
- Crowd 1.3 provides a new directory type, Delegated Authentication, combining the features of a Crowd internal directory with delegated LDAP authentication.
- This allows you to have your users authenticated via an external LDAP directory while managing the groups and roles in Crowd.
- Use Crowd's flexible and simple group management when the LDAP groups do not suit your requirements. For example, you can set up a group configuration in Crowd for use with Confluence, JIRA and other Atlassian products.
- Avoid the performance issues which might result from downloading large numbers of groups from LDAP.
- Use the new Directory Importer, described below, to synchronise your LDAP users with your Crowd directory.
- When a user logs in for the first time, Crowd automatically adds them to the Crowd directory if not already present.
Cross-Directory User Importer
- Our new Directory Importer allows you to copy your users from one directory into another.
- Provided that the directory is defined in Crowd, you can copy from and to any directory type.
- For example, you might import users, groups, roles and memberships from an LDAP directory to a new Delegated Authentication directory (described above) so that you can manage the users, groups and roles in Crowd while allowing users to log in with their LDAP passwords.
- Read about the Directory Importer.
Streamlined User Interface
- The Crowd Administration Console has a new menu structure and an enhanced look and feel.
- A left-hand menu grants easy access to the functions you use most often, such as searching for a user or group.
- A single 'Administration' tab holds the configuration options, system information and backup/restore functions.
- In the interests of simplicity, we've changed the term 'principal' to 'user' throughout.
- When you click a 'Help' link, the relevant documentation page opens immediately.
Simplified Installation, Setup and Integration
- Database configuration is now part of the Setup Wizard, which will update the configuration files based on the options you select.
- You can choose between a JNDI datasource (i.e. server-managed) or a simpler JDBC configuration.
- When upgrading, you can import an XML backup of your Crowd database or connect to an existing database via the Setup Wizard. This means that you don't have to go through the whole Setup Wizard, nor do a manual backup and restore of your Crowd database files.
- When integrating an application with Crowd, you'll notice that there's just one single JAR file to copy.
Configuration of Logging and Profiling via Console
- Enable and disable performance profiling.
- Configure your logging levels via the Crowd Administration Console, for quick and simple runtime troubleshooting.
- Edit the log configuration file for more advanced settings.
- Read the documentation.
Improved Performance and Efficiency
- You'll notice faster search results on the Administration Console screens, such as the Application Browser and User Browser.
- That annoying 'POSTDATA has expired' message no longer appears when you click the 'Back' button.
- Search results returned to a Crowd application are now sorted alphabetically — such as the list of groups shown in a Confluence group picker.
- We've fixed the Hibernate StaleStateException error that was causing occasional performance degradation and authentication failures.
- You can choose to store the login session tokens in the Crowd database (as done prior to Crowd 1.3) or in memory (new option as from Crowd 1.3). Depending upon your installation, in-memory storage could greatly improve response times during authentication. Read about configuring token storage.
- Gzip compression of Crowd Security Server output is now optional. You can turn it on or off via the Crowd Administration Console. Some reasons why you may want to turn Gzip compression off:
- It may be easier to debug problems using uncompressed data.
- Some agents, such as older versions of Internet Explorer, have problems with the Gzip format.
Plus Over 60 Improvements and Bug-Fixes
Known Issues in This Release
We have an enthusiastic and dedicated group of testers and customers who jump in there, try out the new Crowd release, and report any problems so that we can fix them quickly. Here's a list of known issues which will be fixed in our next point release.
A big thank you to everyone who helps us ensure that Crowd keeps getting better and better.