The image node for a composite adapter renders the image node for any contained adapters redundant. However, when the adapter node is excluded from the adapter xml the Identity Broker service fails to start - and an error message is displayed stating that the node is mandatory. When an empty node is added the service still fails to start, but another exception is raised instead. The service will only start when a non-empty image node is included in the configuration.
I noticed the presence of these images (which are not displayed in the Identity Broker Management Studio) when building xsl stylesheets to document the Identity Broker configuration for DEEWR. Not only do they add unnecessary bulk to the configuration, but they can lead to irrelevant images persisting and being accidentally deployed (the images that I found were actually carried over from another project).
As a work-around I have generated a dummy binary string from the smallest PNG file I could find, and used that for all of the adapters that make up my composite adapter.
I believe the image node should only be mandatory for an adapter if it is NOT part of a composite adapter. Given that composite adapters are now likely to be the norm rather than exception, certainly when used with FIM, then this issue is likely to affect more deployments. I doubt whether anyone who has deployed a composite adapter actually realizes what images lay hidden in the nested adapter configurations they have deployed.
Customer support service by UserEcho