FOSDEM is the free and open source (FOSS) conference taking place in Brussels. We were there. Again. We talked about midPoint. Again. And it was a complete success. Even better than the last time.

FOSDEM is a very unique experience. First of all, the conference is huge. Thousands upon thousands of attendees, lots of rooms, tracks and topics – from mainstream to the really obscure ones. There is something for everybody. However, what is even more important, the conference has its own unique atmosphere. It is completely free and it is organized by volunteers. And that spirit of liberty and cooperation is felt everywhere.

There are several main tracks at FOSDEM. But the bulk of the action is going on in “devrooms”. And this year there was a new addition: Identity and Access Management (IAM) devroom. Which means we just could not stand aside, we had to contribute. So we did and we have proposed a talk about identity governance and data protection with midPoint. However, there was a catch. There was such a demand for IAM topics that the talks have to be shortened. And it is quite a feat to explain even the very basics of governance and data protection in 30 minutes. But we did it. Katarina and me.


The talk was a success. The IAM devroom was full of people. And even more people wanted to attend but they just cannot possibly fit into the room. There was a lot of interest. MidPoint is the only open source identity governance system which makes is quite unique. Therefore, we expected that there will be some interest. But the reality has surpassed all our expectations. You can judge that for yourself, as the talk recording is now online.

The talk introduced new and quite exciting data protection features of midPoint. Data protection is the right thing to do and obviously identity management and governance systems can help with that. Therefore, we have implemented prototype of data protection functionality in midPoint. Which comes at the right time as data protection principles are going to be enforced in few months by European GDPR regulation. And that was a topic of the other talk of my colleague Juraj Benculak. He had a look at data protection and identity management from a legal perspective.

Overall FOSDEM was a very pleasant experience. There was a lot of really good talks. And the atmosphere was just great. No wonder that so many people attend the conference every year. And that is also the reason we will be coming back next year too.

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