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Grouper Deployment Guide Distills Community Practices for Improved Interoperability

Apr 10, 2017, by Meredith Lovelace
Tags: Grouper, Trust and Identity in Education and Research, Trust & Identity

By Bill Thompson, Director Digital Infrastructure, Lafayette College

Grouper logo

Grouper is a key component of the TIER architecture, and provides distributed group management and access control that is well suited to the needs of the TIER community. The Grouper project maintains documentation and training materials on the Grouper wiki in the form of administration guides, community contributions, and training videos. These materials do a very good job of providing reference materials and a variety of deployment and use case examples.

However, for new Grouper deployers it has not always been clear where to start and how to stay on the right path. Additionally, many configuration choices and deployment options are left for the deployer to decide. This has led to deployments which have tended towards similar functionality, but often diverge considerably in approach, terminology and implementation. This has made collaboration across the community of deployers cumbersome, with new deployers often having to re-invent successful strategies.

“For new Grouper deployers it has not always been clear where to start and how to stay on the right path. The TIER Grouper Deployment Guide aims to address this situation by distilling a variety of community practices into a TIER community approved approach.”

The TIER Grouper Deployment Guide aims to address this situation by distilling a variety of community practices into a TIER community approved approach. Harmonizing Grouper deployments with common practice, vocabulary and strategies will make it easier for the community to work together towards common objectives, and improve Grouper more quickly over time. New and existing Grouper deployments will find it easier to benefit from community experience, achieve Identity and Access Management (IAM) goals more quickly, and work together to build a robust TIER based IAM practice.

A draft of the deployment guide was shared for a community consultation on March 17. Community input is now being considered, and the 1.0 version of the TIER Grouper Deployment Guide is scheduled to be published on April 21.
(Update as of April 21, 2017: see published version here)