From: <> on behalf of Steven Zoppi <>
Sent: Thursday, May 4, 2017 3:26 PM

Subject: [tier-dev-meeting-april2017] 2017 TIER Development Face-to-Face Summary


One week ago, the TIER developer community convened to review the direction-taken and direction-headed for the core components.  In focus for this session were: Packaging, Entity Registry, Core API Security, and General Security. 

Over 45 community members and Internet2 participants registered and we would like to extend heartfelt thanks to those of you who were able to attend.  For those of you who were not able to attend, your voice was missed in the discussions but hopefully, your voices have all been heard through the working group discussions and other venues in which we listen for your feedback! 

The three-hour session's goals were:  

  • Refocus and refine the efforts as a team using feedback from community / development partner experiences. 
  • Review and evaluate the next stages of TIER packaging, instrumentation, interfaces and automation.  
  • Discuss the status and direction of Security and Audit related matters for next releases. 
  • Discuss TIER upgrade processes and procedures for “next cycles” of container delivery. 


Because we use these Global Summit and Technology Exchange meetings as a means of reflection and refinement of future direction, we have a unique opportunity to interactively work through the cross-discipline activities which cannot be done easily in the confines of the working groups alone.   To that end, the notes can be found here: and all are welcome to provide follow-up thoughts or ask questions. 

A key insight from meetings earlier this year led us to assess both the Operational *and* Architectural directions taken by the community in shaping the solutions. 

Key Take-Aways:

Working Well:

  • We now have a defined vision and direction for what constitutes the "entity registry" 
  • We have separated Provisioning from Authorization and established a "TIER Pattern" for Groups which may be built-upon by campus definitions. 
  • The Architecture and Packaging Working Groups have aligned to produce prototype concepts and create working examples for the campus community. 
  • We are now actually performing the builds as envisioned by the various working groups (realizing the goals as intended). 
  • We have a first release of a community "cookbook" in the form of the "Grouper Deployment Guide" which leads the way for the other such component guides. 
  • We now have a functioning "tooling pipeline" which provides the underpinnings for the Developer and Release workbenches. 
  • We now have working component containers which make the implementation of any component in greenfield deployment significantly more efficient and rapid. 


Opportunities for Next Phases 

  • In short ... "More Documentation Please ..."  The campuses need more information illustrating best practices so they can determine how TIER components could work in their campus environments. 
  • Expanded partner engagement with solution vendors such as Aegis and Fischer (among others) so they can tailor their offerings to fit the TIER solution base in a "plug and play" fashion.  This would require that these same vendors bring resources to the table just as our campus participants do to work through the standards as part of the TIER community. 
  • Increased community discussions/disclosures in the form of "lessons-learned" and "post mortems" as these component solutions evolve and are deployed into the campus environment.  This is also applicable to other opportunities to reflect and learn from failures and successes. 
  • Enhanced security practices need to be realized through various vulnerability tests, static and dynamic code analysis, "smoke" testing and other automated Quality Assurance activities. 
  • Internet2 and Community Working Groups' communication with the community needs to continue to cast a positive light on the value of changing to these components versus the previous means of deployment.  Showing that "this change, while requiring up-front effort, will pay dividends in the future" as enhancements and maintenance is more rapidly applied and integrated into the delivered components. 
  • Identify and acknowledge which use cases are easier than others to help the community make more informed decisions about how to scope their adoption efforts. While we have numerous use cases from which to choose, the community has observed that some are easier to reconcile than others (due to technical complexity or organizational challenges.)  Lessons learned and shared from, and with the community would be best. 


Finally - the Docker direction has been reaffirmed and a form of outreach to more aggressively validate these components will be pursued. 

While this is a brief update of the topics covered, and there are many more outcomes to share, this meeting illustrated the power of the community to tackle highly complex challenges and deliver solutions tailored to meet its own needs. 

In the spirit of "Crawl/Walk/Run," we are now at the very crucial junction of aggressively testing the roadway we've built for the new vehicles to come.  We are well-positioned to begin the walk, together. 

With thanks to the dedicated working group chairs, participants, and community practitioners who are providing priceless feedback ... we look forward to sharing more between now and the Technology Exchange. 



Steve Zoppi, Ann West, Kevin Morooney and the TIER Program Team 

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