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This is the home of the InC-UserIdentifiers collaboration group.

Chair: Jon Saperia, Harvard University.

To subscribe to the mailing list, send an email to <sympa AT incommon DOT org>. In the subject of the message, include:
sub inc-useridentifiers FirstName LastName

A challenging aspect of federating applications and achieving interoperability across the large and diverse set of identity-providing organizations in InCommon centers around the identification of users .  A number of attributes for identifying users exist (e.g. ePPN), but often their limitations are unclear to service providers (e.g. ePPNs might be reassigned). 

The proposed group has two primary goals: 1) To better understand the motivations behind current use (and misuse) of identifiers, and 2) To explore how best to help solve immediate problems while steering implementers of federated services toward better practices in the future.

This is a first cut at creating work items:

To address the the challenges outlined in the background statement above, the working group will undertake four areas of work after compiling known issues with existing attributes and implementations. The work will be guided by two related principles:

  • Vendors are reluctant to change existing code and the working group will work to avoid any changes that would break functioning systems today.
  • Attributes that have already been defined should not be altered to the extent that the semantics are meaningfully changed.

The work areas are:

  1. Where possible we will refine definitions of problematic attributes consistent with the two principles above.
  2. We will create a best practices document that will go with the revised attribute definitions that will focus on how to make best use of these attributes for InCommon IdPs and SPs. 
  3. New attributes will be created where it is not possible to fully address problematic attributes. In this process, we will identify which attributes in the revised specification should be identified as 'deprecated' (See RFC 2578).
  4. A best practices document (or perhaps a part 2 of the one above) will be created that addresses the use of the new attributes as well as issues related to coexistence with the ones that have been deprecated.

What do you think?

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