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InCommon TAC Meeting 2014-12-11

Thursday, December 11, 2014
1:00pm ET | 12:00pm CT | 11:00am MT | 10:00am PT

Attending: Ian Young, Michael Gettes, Chris Misra, Jim Jokl, Mike LaHaye, Keith Hazelton, Tom Barton, Jim Basney, Paul Caskey, Steve Olshansky, David Walker

With: Tom Scavo, Dean Woodbeck, Janemarie Duh, Ann West, John Krienke, Steve Zoppi, Nate Klingenstein

Action Items

(AI) Prior to the break, Steve Carmody will develop a scope of work for an “eduGAIN punch list”

(AI) Prior to the next meeting, Steve Carmody and John Krienke will absolutely review and cleanse the list of carryover action items.

(AI) Steve Carmody will communicate the Alternative IdP Working Group final report and recommendations to Steering.

Ops Update

Tom Scavo pointed to a wiki page with this week’s Ops Update

He highlighted the dates for metadata signing over the holidays, the completed move of the Ann Arbor office, and the move of the metadata signing operation.


Michael reported that process is ongoing as the Steering Program Subcommittee identifies and differentiates responsibilities of InCommon and TIER. Steve Carmody reported that TAC priorities have been incorporated into the master sheet being used by the Program Subcommittee.

EU Identity Week

Ann sent an email to the TAC list outlining the highlights of the recent EU Identity Week. She highlighted:

  • a discussion about eduGAIN and the potential for individual federations to have the ability and a tool to filter entities in the metadata
  • Geant is deploying a VO Platform as a Service next year
  • SURFNet deploying eduTEAMs, a federated group service that anyone can use. Want to make it available as an GEANT/eduGAIN service. 


The first TIER requirements gathering workshop took place this week in Chicago. Ann reported that 22 campuses attended and developed a list of use cases, possible metrics, and operational constraints.

R&S Update

Tom Scavo reported on items related to the R&S Category:

  • human subjects requirement has been removed
  • v1.2 of REFEDS R&S specification published
  • Gap analysis between REFEDS and InCommon R&S published
  • New R&S documentation and new application form (reflecting the REFEDS spec) are published
  • Goal to get all R&S SPs to have both entity attributes in metadata. Once that happens, we will begin talking with IdPs

Alternative IdP Working Group

Janemarie Duh (Lafayette) joined the call as chair of the Alternative IdP Working Group and presented the final report. She highlighted the recommendations for future work, divided into three categories:

  1. InCommon and/or TIER
    1. Deploy or contract for fully outsourced shib IdP installation
    2. Establish a process to certify IdP support vendors
    3. Create appliance that campuses could use for configuration (perhaps a customized version of the SWAMID installer
    4. Identify ways for InCommon participants to get consultant help without admin overhead (maybe InCommon could buy a block of hours and a participant could purchase hourly blocks of time)
    5. Conduct outreach to institutions who aren’t engaged in federation and may not know such a thing exists
  2. Community solutions – InC coordination
    1. Participants host IdP for other participants (“condo” model)
    2. Develop a mentoring program for InCommon participants to help others get started – perhaps organize geographically
  3. Recommendations for a second phase of this working group or another chartered group
    1. Develop criteria for assessing IdP vendors
    2. Do the actual assessing of the vendors
    3. Develop a cookbook on IdP deployment strategies, including technical architecture, vendor selection, user support, operation

The working group recommends these as priorities:

  1. Create/customize an appliance akin to SWAMID
  2. Conduct outreach to institutions not engaged in federaion and don’t know an alternative exists
    1. publish case studies
    2. take the show on the road – conferences, consortia like CLAC, regional providers, NACUBO, maybe appropriate vendor conferences
    3. compile a list of organizations to target
    4. interview CIOs from non-members
  3. Develop a mentoring program
  4. Develop criteria for assessing IdP service vendors
  5. Author the cookbook on deploying IdP strategies

TAC accepts the working group report with thanks to Janemarie, David Walker and the entire working group. Steve Carmody will transmit the report to Steering.

IdP of Last Resort Working Group

Keith Hazelton presented the Working Group’s draft report, including a list of requirements for such an IdP and some desirable features. The next steps include:

  1. Identity and evaluate (using the list of features) candidate services that could meet these requirements.
  2. Finalize the list of requirements
  3. Vet the list with research SP contacts (through Jim Basney and Von Welch)
  4. Find a better name than “IdP of Last Resort”

The working group hopes to have a final report by the January 8, 2015, TAC meeting


A Steering working group has looked at the policy requirements for implementing eduGAIN and has developed a long punch list. Some of the items have been assigned to TAC. Steve Carmody suggests chartering a working group to make recommendations on the punch list, as well as the filtering issue discussed earlier. (AI) Steve will develop a scope of work for such a working group prior to the break.

Next Call

January 8, 2015 – 2 pm ET / 1 pm CT / Noon MT / 11 am PT


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