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  • 2015 Work Plan Preparation

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Title<title of your proposal here>
Description<description text here>
Proposer<your name here>
Resource requirements<money? effort? coordination? unicorns?>
+1's<for others to voice their support - add your name here>


Group 1: Global services: incident response, helpdesk and central monitoring tools



Fed Ops Security Incident Response

DescriptionMost federations have wording in their federation policy to support incident response but this tends to be a few words committing the Op, IdP and SP to work together on issues.  There is no developed idea of the workflow for incident reporting and it is difficult for SPs to understand the process across different federations or contact multiple federations.   REFEDS should define a common process and workflow descriptions for federations and support a lightweight model for supporting incident reporting and discussion - possibly via the FOG list or an XMPP type approach.  As discussed at ACAMP.
ProposerNicole on behalf of ACAMP session.
Resource requirementsREFEDS Coordinator time, buy in from federations, possibly some small infrastructure support requirements.
+1'sTom Barton, Wendy Petersen (CAF), Dave Kelsey, Scott Koranda, Romain Wartel, Michal Prochazka, Ann West, Heather Flanagan



Federated Error Handling

DescriptionDevelop a systematic approach to error handling at the Service Provider, especially in the common case where there are no (or too few) user attributes in the SAML response. One approach that has been suggested (but is by no means the only approach) is to leverage the Error Handling URL (errorURL) in IdP metadata so that end users are directed to an appropriate service point (e.g., help desk, IdM support, etc.). A possible outcome of this work item might be a simple profile of the errorURL in IdP metadata and a strategy for increasing its usage worldwide.
ProposerTom Scavo
Resource requirementsProfiling the use of errorURL in IdP metadata (if that is indeed a recommended approach) would be relatively easy
+1'sScott Cantor, Niels van Dijk (SURFnet)

Group 2: Virtual Organisations and Groups



VO Assessment

DescriptionSeveral years ago, the COmanage project put together a questionnaire aimed at helping both the VO and the organizations supporting them understand their IdM needs and business processes.  This proved to be fairly useful, but it needs to be updated and expanded to help a more international audience.  The old assessment is available off the COmanage wiki, hosted by Internet2.
ProposerHeather Flanagan
Resource requirementsMinimal effort, support for a survey, and kittens
+1'sNiels van Dijk (SURFnet  / GEANT SA5 VOpaas), Michal Prochazka



Attribute authorities and group membership/role information


Attribute authorities become interesting in VO world, where IdPs are not able to satisfy SP needs on additional attributes about the users especially group membership/roles. The main problem is when one SP wants to accept users from different VOs which use different attribute authorities. There is no common standard for representing group name/role in the attribute having VOs identification into account (just group name can lead to collision among different VOs).

Some examples how group names are used by current group mgmt systems:

  • Perun: {vo_name}:{group_name}:{sub_group_name}:...
  • SufConext: urn:collab:group:{group_provider}:{group_name}

Protocols which work with groups and theirs requirements on the group name:

  • VOOT: apart from id (usually UUID) it uses displayName which is a translatable string giving the group a human friendly name. The name is supposed to give a clear meaning for users setting up access control.
  • SCIM: apart from id (usually UUID) it uses displayName: A human readable name for the Group. 
ProposerMichal Prochazka (CESNET)
Resource requirementsSeveral conference calls should be enough for setting up the working group and produce recommendation on nameing schema for groups including VO identification.
+1'sScott Koranda, Wendy Petersen (CAF), Niels van Dijk (SURFnet), Heather Flanagan

Group 3: (Operator) Best Practice


edugain recommended practices

DescriptionWith edugain gaining steam, national Feds are trying different approaches to managing import, export, and filtering. This activity would review an early harvest of national Fed experiences and produce recommended practices that national Feds can use to produce a more consistent experience for IdPs and SPs, and hence for users.
ProposerTom Barton
Resource requirementsPerhaps 6 conference calls for a working group to organize, gather materials, net out essential recommendations. Someone to edit a resulting doc. Email list support.
+1's Mikael Linden, Jean-François Guezou, Ann West, Heather Flanagan



Contacts in Metadata


As interfederation increases in scope, so does the importance of contact information in metadata. The goal of this work group is to clarify and perhaps profile the use of contacts in metadata. Possible work items include:

  • Under what situations (if any) is contact information required?
  • What are the intended uses of specific contact types?
  • Clarify the use of the mailto: prefix.
  • Standardize the usage of GivenName and SurName elements in metadata.
  • Recommend new contact types as needed (e.g., a security contact)
  • Discourage the use of individual email addresses in favor of role-based email addresses (such as
ProposerTom Scavo
Resource requirementsFederations have a long history of the use of contact information in metadata and so widespread agreement may be difficult to achieve but presumably the results of this working group will make it easier for entities to interfederate
+1'sScott Cantor

Group 4: Discovery Improvements



Federation at scale

DescriptionDetermine next steps towards dynamic resolution of entity metadata. The assumption is that this is how metadata will eventually be obtained at transaction time. This activity might focus on furthering the development and experimentation with protocols and implementations for so doing, or on how metadata comes to be sourced for dynamic resolution, or on identifying criteria by which to assess that a given dynamic resolution mechanism is working well. The purpose is to gain further experience and not necessarily to attempt anything definitive as yet.
ProposerTom Barton
Resource requirementsThis one might have some hard resource needs. Some development. An environment in which to try things out, somehow including IdP or SP instances with which to experiment.

Fresh Approaches to IdP Discovery


REFEDS has long appreciated the importance of IdP discovery in the federated model (see: REFEDS Discovery Guide). The current discovery model is dependent upon an aggregate of IdP metadata but advances in the distribution of per-entity metadata suggest that an aggregate may not always be available at the SP. A new model of IdP discovery in a world of per-entity metadata may be needed. Various approaches are possible:

  • continued reliance on a comprehensive aggregate of IdP metadata

  • a google-like, server-side search mechanism (trading latency for load time)

  • domain mapping eduroam-style

  • a client-side application or plugin

The latter includes the OpenID account chooser but its relevance in this space is not well understood.

The goal of this working group is to evaluate the various alternatives to IdP discovery and to recommend one or more approaches that warrant further consideration.
ProposerScott Cantor and Tom Scavo
Resource requirementsNote the overlap between this proposal and the proposal entitled "Federation at scale" above

Group 5: New Working Groups



Privacy and interfed

DescriptionIs the CoCo on track? What barriers are there to its adoption? Purpose is to determine what issues a communications campaign should address to improve uptake.
ProposerTom Barton
Resource requirementsWorking Group would conduct interviews with a selection of prospective CoCo adopting sites, blend with CoCo knowledgeable expert and a communications person to arrive at an enumeration of concerns to be addressed. Perhaps a dozen Working Group conference calls and list support. Support for a small number of group interviews.
+1's Mikael Linden (the GEANT CoCo flywheel)