The MAGIC project stands for defining a Group Management in Federations (GMF) solution to foster sharing applications and resources in the community. The focus of GMF is in maintain group information in a central and secure location, and providing the capacity to share digital resources with other organizations or domains. For instance, the NRENs will be capable of handling the authorization based on group ownership. The NREN users could share resources with a complete group, access to specific functions or applications depending on their role,among others. Standards and technologies to handle GMF in a domain scope already exists, and there are initiatives of protocols to share this information like VOOT or Grouper, under the concept of virtual organizations. The MAGIC group will select a solution to be implemented in one application market, and establish a pilot with other one sharing group details in two applications. The first step towards this goal is to compare and evaluate the possible solution. This document presents the evaluation of the most advanced solutions in the area, and it will serve as the base ground to build requirements and advance to the committed pilot implementations.
Key functions and capabilities
The GMF importance can be revealed through the exposure of some use cases commonly seen in the collaboration environment. For the MAGIC group, the GMF should address cases like:
Authorization: An application in one service provider domain has a user connected to it. When the user wants to use an specific feature, the GMF should check if he belongs to an specific group or role, and allow or deny the access. All of this shall be done in a federated approach, and the user group information could be anywhere in its home institution.
Share information about groups: Some user applications could require or need to share its information to other domains. For instance, A specific group in Biology can benefit from having its existing public to the global community, and be able to use it in a remote application. This information can include: Global group type classification, Participants in the group, among others.
Single management interface (create and update group information): Nowadays, the organizations have to create groups and manage then in almost every application. The above leads to a highly edundant information, and complexity in its administration. A single domain shall have a single repository, and administration interface for its groups.
Federated management: Is the simplest and central capacity that GMF will fulfill. The groups information must be always up to date, and this requires management at the source. Every institution shall have the capacity to handle their groups information, and make it available to the entire community with the options to segment access or customize privacy features.
Assessment, evaluation and recommendation of global group and attribute management for inter-operation standardisation
MAGIC team evaluated the following standards and technologies for group management: VOOT, SCIM, Grouper, SAML2, OAUTH, OpenID, PERUN, SYMPA, OPENCONEXT, UNITY.
After the evaluation, it was concluded that OpenConext, PERUN, SYMPA, SCIM, and Unity could potentially fulfill the need to manage working groups.
Specifically, MAGIC identified the need for a Group Management solution that allows federated applications to provide authorized user access to certain resources based on group membership, as well as to share group membership information with applications in support of value-added collaboration features for groups.