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Dynamic Groups - New Features Available and What’s Coming

JumpCloud Employee
JumpCloud Employee

I’m back today to update the JumpCloud Community on some recent capabilities that we have made available for Dynamic Groups. Ever since we released Dynamic Groups back in August, we have received very positive feedback as well as recommendations on how we can improve the experience. All of the additional capabilities that I am covering today are a result of the feature requests that customers have submitted. Keep em coming!!!

As a reminder, Groups at JumpCloud are the gateway to entitlement and policy associations. It is THE critical component of our platform for enabling our customers to ensure that their users have the needed access to the resources they need in a safe and secure manner. For a refresher, check out the Welcome to Groups blog that was updated back in August.


New Major OS Version Experience

One of the first areas that we wanted to tackle was the experience that customers had when trying to create OS Family specific device groups. When we first released Dynamic Groups for Devices, we knew that we were allowing for combinations of attributes that were not logical given the differences between the various OS Families that we support. Starting today, all organizations now have a new experience around configuring Dynamic Groups for Devices where certain attributes have prerequisite attributes that are required before they become available.


Note: The grayed out attributes in the drop down list.

  • Distribution - only becomes available when OS Family = Linux. This would be where the admin can select the appropriate Distribution for Linux devices that belong in the group.
  • Version (New Attribute) - only becomes available when OS Family = Windows. This would be where the admin can select the appropriate Windows Version (ex: 10 Pro, 11 Enterprise, etc.) for Windows devices that belong in the group.
  • OS Major Version - requires the selection of an OS Family first and is unavailable for Windows. (note that all current Windows currently have an OS Major Version = 10).

We feel that with the new validation or logic built into the behavior of the device attributes along with the addition of the Version attribute for Windows devices that the overall experience and flexibility around device groups is more straightforward and easier to use.


User Attributes

More user attributes has been one of the most common feature requests that we have received around Dynamic Groups for Users. We started with a solid list of user attributes but know that in order to support more complex organizational structures that we need to keep adding attributes.

  • Manager - Starting today, we are making available the Manager attribute as a selectable attribute for Dynamic Groups for Users. It will function just like the Manager attribute does within the user object. If a rule is created where Manager = “John Smith”, all users that have “John Smith” as their Manager in the user object will be returned by the group query.
  • Company Email - The targeted use case for this attribute is to be able to configure Dynamic User Groups by a rule leveraging email domain. This attribute needs new operators like “contains” or “ends with" to become relevant. We are going to hold off on enabling this attribute until we have those operators (see Additional Operators below for details).

Adding these 2 attributes is really just the start on the user attribute front for Dynamic User Groups. We currently provide the ability to create custom attributes at both the user object and user group object levels. We are now starting to tackle enabling these custom attributes as configurable rules in the context of Dynamic Groups. We feel that this will provide the next level of flexibility in how to organize user groups and associated entitlements.


Device Attributes

There was also significant interest in growing our device attributes list for Dynamic Groups. One of the primary use cases that customers were looking to solve for was differentiating between desktop/mobile devices and infrastructure devices via rules. We feel that this next set of device attributes along with the existing device attributes will get us there.

  • Vendor - Starting today, we are making available the Vendor attribute as a selectable attribute for Dynamic Groups for Devices. This attribute provides an additional level of flexibility beyond just the OS Family.
  • Public IP Address - Starting today, we are making available the Public IP Address as a selectable attribute for Dynamic Groups for Devices. We were torn on this one as to whether or not to wait until we had more operators like “Company Email” on the user attributes side. Contains, Starts With/Ends With will make this attribute more valuable but we chose to go ahead and make it available today as there was enough interest even with the current operators (equals/not equals).
  • Hostname - We recognize that Hostname or “Device Name” conventions vary quite a bit. We felt that this attribute also needs some of the new operators to have any value as an attribute rule. We are going to hold off on enabling this attribute until we have those new operators (See Additional Operators below for details).


Additional Operators

One of the biggest improvements that we felt we needed to make was more flexible operators beyond equals/doesn’t equal, greater than/less than. We had always planned to add more capability with contains/doesn’t contain and starts with/ends with operators for string value attributes. We have more work to do in order to enable these and still maintain the performance standard expected for Dynamic Groups. We are currently targeting some time in January to be rolling these out. Something else that we are fixing is the ability to select multiple values for the not equals operator. This was a known limitation that should be addressed in the same time frame as the additional operators discussed above. The addition of these operators won’t just make the new attributes more flexible and usable but will also improve flexibility across all of our attributes.


Wrap Up

We are continuing to invest in Dynamic Groups and the automation and efficiencies that they unlock for our customers. Please continue to share your thoughts and feedback with us. It is truly what is driving our roadmap. Also, please share your creative approaches with Dynamic Groups with others via JumpCloud Community posts. We love to hear these stories and know that others within the community can benefit.


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