IDN + Transforms + VS Code + Snippets = Lightning Speed #IDN101

Hiya Folks

Happy New Year!!!  

I have written a few posts before on how to write nested transforms and about a few new transform types available. But it still look like a tedious task when writing a transform – especially a complex one. It is as powerful as its confusing sometimes. I still don’t have full grip on the capabilities or the possibilities I can achieve without the need of rules. 

I love VS Code and especially its features and plugins. I use it extensively and also advocate the same to all my colleagues and clients for doing JSON and CSV files with IDN (and java coding obviously).

Few years ago one of my good mate Thomas Bui had shown me an interesting way to not need to remember syntax of each transforms while writing it. So credits to him.

Here I have built a package and hopefully show you how to deploy it in VS code and using the Snippet feature quickly write transforms with less errors.

It’s pretty simple. View the video I have made in VS Code (Works on Windows / Mac) . Please click on the gif to enlarge it. The embedded one is not rendering properly for some reason.

You will see how quickly I wrote a firstValid transform and replaced few lines with accountAttributes transforms (nested) and created a “Get New Dept” Transforms in couple of sec.

Steps are as below

  1. Open “Configure User Snippets” in VS Code Preferences
  2. Click on “New Global Snippets File”
  3. Call it say “transforms”
  4. In the file opened, replace the entire content with below code snippet
  5. Save and close the file 
  6. Now start typing the name of the transform (e.g. firstValid) and it will show up.
  7. Press Enter and it will show you the code

That’s it

Hopefully this was helpful and makes it easy for you to write transforms for IDN. Feel free to expand the snippet by adding your own shortcuts of complex transforms or code which you use often and feel free to share it below or the article



PSA: New Transform Types Available for IdentityNow

Hey Folks!!!

Since the last time we chatted about transforms and had said we are in process of adding new types in future. Well.. here we are with few news ones fresh out of the oven!!!

They will greatly help you achieve your goals without the need of rules. Please do revisit them while doing your design or upliftment. The goal is to minimise dependency on rules and by using transforms it gives you more control over the testing and deployment process.

For some new noteworthy ones

The date math transform allows you to add, subtract and round components of a timestamp to or from an incoming value. It also allows you to work with a referential value of “now” to run operations against the current date and time instead of a fixed value.

Imagine using this for LCS calculation if simple or just to get some dates for different systems say 10 days in future or so.

The username generator transform allows you to specify logic to use when attempting to derive a unique value for an attribute in an account create profile, . Oftentimes this can be as simple as combining parts of a user’s name and/or HR data (e.g., firstName.lastName), but sometimes generator logic such as a uniqueness counter might be needed to find a unique value in the target system (e.g., firstName.lastName1 if firstName.lastName is already taken).

How about ditching an AttributeGenerator rule and using this? 

The UUID generator is a simple transform allows you to create a universal unique id (UUID) in the form of a 36-character string. The underlying code is written in such a way as to provide a 1 in 68,719,476,736 chance of creating a string that actually collides with another string within the tenant.

Generate UUID on the fly

The name normalizer transform allows you to clean or standardize the spelling of strings coming in from source systems. Most commonly, this pertains to names and other proper nouns, but the transform is not necessarily limited to those data elements.

Get rid of the WiERd CasINg

The get reference identity attribute transform is an out-of-the-box rule transform provided via SailPoint’s Cloud Services Deployment Utility rule. It allows you to easily get the identity attribute of another user from within a given identity’s calculation. As a convenience feature, the transform allows you to use “manager” as a referential lookup to the target identity.

Want the manager’s employee number, email, phone and other details listed easily on the profile?? so easy now!!!

And so many more added.. Do review the full list here and see what can benefit you from removing rules and going down the transform path

Nested Transforms for Dummies: Step-by-Step Guide #IDN101

One of the most basic things everyone needs to do in SailPoint IDN (IdentityNow) is to write transforms to create an Identity Profile for business requirements.

SailPoint has a an excellent guide on what a transforms is and detailed list of transforms available for IDN and is pretty comprehensive. 

The simple ones are pretty easy to implement. But we always run into creating complex nested transforms to achieve our goals. It looked daunting to me at first but I started to get the hang of it. I would like to explain in very basic terms how to easily achieve this.

Let’s take a business case here to explain easily.


Build an emailPrefix attribute with firstName and lastName from Workday source which will be eventually used to generate an email address.


Now if we break down the requirement into logic, we need to do the following

  • Get firstName from Workday source
  • Get lastName from Workday source
  • Concat the two with a period (.) in the middle
  • Remove all spaces from the final value.

Since this is an emailPrefix to be used to generate an email attribute, it can’t contain spaces. There can be other requirements like special characters etc but let’s keep it simple here (that is just a matter of proper regex).


Now if you look at the transforms guide you will need the following transforms

To get the attributes from a source – accountAttribute

To concat the two attribute with a period – concat

And then finally we need to do a replace block to remove all spaces from the final result (note the \\s is the put \s as literal in JSON while passing it via REST API)

Now we need to join the three block. First we will begin with replacing the “firstName code block” and “lastName code block” with the accountAttribute block we had done above.

This will give us the concatenated value of “firstName.lastName”. But now we want to remove all spaces from it as it will be used for email address generation. 

If you look at the replace block above, we need to do two additional things to the code

  1. Give it an “id” key as we want to name this final transform for mapping
  2. Give it an “input” key as we want to explicitly define the inputs for this type (i.e. the concatenated string) and not use implicit value (i.e. from the IDN mapping). Do read about the difference in the transform guide.

So the new skeleton code for replace will become

The final step is now pretty easy. Replace the entire input value with the built concat value above.

And that is it!! You have built your first nested transform. It gives you the immense power to build a deep nested transform for complex logics to get glorious and simplified results in the end.


I am not an expert in this and still learning this every day even after playing with it for more than a year but here are my learnings

  • Write down the logic you want to achieve
  • Break it down to individual code blocks
  • Write down the nested logic which will achieve you the result in best way possible (in above example = get the attributes -> concat it -> replace spaces). We could have also done this by say getting each attribute, remove spaces from them individually and then doing a concat of the final result – but this is inefficient and longer code. So understanding the logic and making it smart and short is best way forward.
  • Start working from inside block to outside and encapsulating them to achieve result
  • ALWAYS use a good code editor with syntax highlighter – My fav is VS Code with various plugins (makes it an awesome Swiss army knife for coders).

Hope this helped you!!!

Stay tuned for some more tips and #IDN101