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The Internet2 Middleware Initiative is pleased to announce the release of Grouper version 2.0, featuring new group management and access control capabilities.

According to Joe Doe, CIO of University of XX, "One of the most important challenges for our IT staff is to manage the ability of  students, staff or other constituents to access campus services and resources.  Grouper addresses this need, by facilitating management of groups and providing the secure framework for those groups to gain permissions to the appropriate resources."

Grouper enables authorized individuals throughout the organization to create and keep track of groups of collaborators – for example, staff teams, student working groups, and multidisciplinary faculty research projects – and control access to services and applications that the group is entitled to use (like a project wiki or team email list) .

The new Grouper 2.0 offers enhanced group management and access control capabilities, making it a fully developed Role Based Access Control (RBAC) system. This means that roles can be created corresponding to job functions and the permissions to perform certain operations can then be  assigned to specific roles. Tom Barton, of the University of Chicago and Grouper development team, explains, "A big plus to the role-based approach is that if a person changes jobs or roles, their permissions to access resources automatically change too. Here at University of Chicago, our IT staff is pleased about this more efficient approach."

Another major advantage of using Grouper, Barton says, is the potential for decentralizing a number of tasks. "With Grouper, managing roles can be delegated to departments with the authority to make the decisions, leaving IT to maintain the infrastructure, not the business process," he said.

Internet2 Middleware Initiative Director Ken Klingenstein notes, "The open source Grouper product has risen to a new and exciting level of maturity, thanks to a highly collaborative effort with key contributors from University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Memphis, University of Bristol (UK), University of Washington, and several other institutions. We are appreciative of the support received from the National Science Foundation and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as well as the broad contributions from the higher education community."

A recent survey revealed that Grouper is experiencing strong adoption worldwide, and is being integrated widely with many other key pieces of cyberinfrastructure. Results of the Grouper survey, which was conducted in June and July of 2011, can be seen at http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/docs/GrouperSurveySummary_Aug_2011_FINAL.pdf

An excellent way to learn about Grouper and its new features is to join the Grouper webinar on September 14. The webinar, titled "Get Schooled on the New Grouper 2.0" will take place on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 3 pm ET, and will be archived for additional viewing. Details for participating in the webinar are found at http://www.incommon.org/iamonline/

For more information on Grouper, visit http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/

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New Grouper Software Release is Major Advancement in Group and Access Management

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – September 9, 2011

The Internet2 Middleware Initiative is pleased to announce the release of Grouper version 2.0, featuring new group management and access control capabilities. Grouper enables anyone to create and keep track of groups of collaborators – for example, staff teams, student working groups, and multidisciplinary faculty research projects – and control access to services and applications that the group is entitled to use (like a project wiki or team email list) .

Managing this information in one place allows a new collaborator to quickly come up to speed: add the person to the group and he or she automatically has access to all of the team's services and applications. Using the delegation feature, Grouper also streamlines business processes, since the central information technology department does not have to be involved in adding new members.

The new Grouper 2.0 has significant new group management and access control capabilities, making it a fully developed Role Based Access Control (RBAC) system. Roles are created corresponding to job functions, for example, and the permissions to perform certain operations are then assigned to specific roles.

"While this sounds complex, what it really means is that managing functions and permissions within the organization can be much simpler," said Tom Barton, of the University of Chicago and Grouper devleopment team. "A big plus to this approach is that if a person changes jobs or roles, their permissions to access resources automatically change too. Here at University of Chicago, our IT staff is pleased about this more efficient approach."

Another major advantage of using Grouper, Barton explains, is the potential for decentralizing a number of tasks. "With Grouper, managing roles can be delegated to departments with the authority to make the decisions, leaving IT to maintain the infrastructure, not the business process," he said.

Internet2 Middleware Initiative Director Ken Klingenstein notes, "The open source Grouper product has risen to a new and exciting level of maturity, thanks to a highly collaborative effort with key contributors from University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Memphis, University of Bristol (UK), University of Washington, and several other institutions. We are appreciative of the support received from the National Science Foundation and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as well as the broad contributions from the higher education community."

A recent survey revealed that Grouper is experiencing strong adoption worldwide, and is being integrated widely with many other key pieces of cyberinfrastructure. Results of the Grouper survey, which was conducted in June and July of 2011, can be seen at http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/docs/GrouperSurveySummary_Aug_2011_FINAL.pdf

An excellent way to learn about Grouper and its new features is to join the Grouper webinar on September 14. The webinar, titled "Get Schooled on the New Grouper 2.0" will take place on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 3 pm ET, and will be archived for additional viewing. Details for participating in the webinar are found at http://www.incommon.org/iamonline/

For more information on Grouper, visit http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/

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As of Sept 8, Ryan commented that this version is too complicated, needs to be revised to answer question "WHAT IS THE PROBLEM GROUPER IS SOLVING" - Emily

New Grouper Software Release is Major Advancement in Group and Access Management

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – September 9, 2011

The Internet2 Middleware Initiative is pleased to announce the release of Grouper version 2.0.  This  Grouper release incorporates significant new group management and access control capabilities.

that provide the flexibility to craft standard and custom roles with fine tuned access rights to services and systems. Fully auditable, Grouper has the ability to track changes over time to reconstruct history of an individual's access. Managing the roles can be delegated to departments with the authority to make the decisions, leaving IT to maintain the infrastructure, not the business process.

Tom Barton, University of Chicago, and chair of Grouper development team, comments "With this Grouper 2.0 release, Grouper is now a fully developed Role Based Access Control (RBAC) system."   Internet2 Middleware Initiative director Ken Klingenstein notes  "A highly collaborative effort with key contributors from University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Memphis, University of Bristol (UK), University of Washington, and several other institutions has brought the open source Grouper product to a new and exciting level of maturity. We are appreciative of  the support received from the National Science Foundation and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as well as the broad contributions from the higher education community."

Klingenstein adds, "The Grouper 2.0 release is particularly timely as institutions begin to recognize the need for scalable access control on top of the rapidly expanding federated identity infrastructure."

A recent survey revealed that Grouper is experiencing strong adoption worldwide, and is being integrated widely with many other key pieces of cyberinfrastructure.  Results of the Grouper survey, which was conducted in June and July of 2011,  can be seen at http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/docs/GrouperSurveySummary_Aug_2011_FINAL.pdf

An excellent way to learn about  Grouper and its new features is to join the Grouper webinar on September 14. The webinar, titled "Get Schooled on the New Grouper 2.0" will take place on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 3 pm ET, and will later be archived for additional viewing.  Details for participating in the webinar are found at http://www.incommon.org/iamonline/

For more information on Grouper, visit http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/

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ORIGINAL TEXT

The Internet2 Middleware Initiative is pleased to announce the release of Grouper version 2.0. Grouper is designed to function as the core element of a common infrastructure for managing access information across integrated applications and repositories. It enables project managers, departments, institutions, and end-users to create and manage institutional and personal groups, roles, and permissions.

This release is a major milestone, and incorporates several enhancements to the core Grouper functionality, increasing its utility as a key part of an institution's core identity and access management infrastructure.

With this release, Grouper is now a fully developed Role Based Access Control (RBAC) system. Other key features include the ability to include users from federated institutions into group membership, improved data connector performance (for integration with existing infrastructure), added point-in-time audit capabilities, and web services access to most functionality. Permission management capabilities are significant, including a user interface (UI) to manage custom attributes, permissions, limits, and actions. Real time provisioning will be a key added feature in version 2.1, to follow.

For further detail about this new release, to download the software and release notes, for upgrade instructions, and a link to a Grouper demo, please visit
    http://www.internet2.edu/grouper/software.html

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