30 June 2010
The Internet2 Middleware Initiative and the Kuali Foundation today announced the integration of two key elements of their identity management (IdM) offerings. Internet2's Grouper Groups Management Toolkit now interoperates with the Kuali Rice software.
The Kuali Rice software provides an enterprise class middleware suite of integrated products that allows for applications to be built in an agile fashion. Internet2's Grouper Groups Management Toolkit enables project managers, departments, institutions and end users to create and manage institutional and personal groups. It puts control of a group in the hands of its steward and enables the person to manage the membership and what resources it can access.
"Alignment of open source projects yields significant benefits for the higher education IT community," said Tom Barton, Senior Director for Integration at the University of Chicago and Chair of the Internet2 Grouper Working Group. "We believe this Grouper/Kuali integration is an important part of a broad effort to promote the synergies between various open-source IdM efforts."
Eric Westfall, Enterprise Software Architect at Indiana University and Kuali Rice Project Manager added, "The results of this collaborative effort will allow for institutions to leverage current or future investments in Grouper in conjunction with their Kuali implementation projects. Additionally, this is a reification of one of the core Kuali Identity Management design principles, which was to provide a platform within Kuali for integration with other IdM products."
An early adopter of the Grouper/Kuali integration will be the University of Pennsylvania, which has leveraged Grouper to manage course, affiliate, and ad-hoc groups on campus. University of Pennsylvania wanted to integrate the workflow features offered in Kuali Rice to this existing system to allow automated approval of access requests to protected resources.
"Penn is converting paper forms used for access to protected resources to electronic forms in order to improve service to the staff and to provide even tighter overall security," explains Jim Johnson, Director of Data Administration at University of Pennsylvania. "The Grouper/Kuali Rice integration enables faster provisioning of access to electronic services for authorized users, allowing them to more quickly utilize the resources. Using Grouper and Kuali Rice together in one system means we can even further reduce manual errors in assigning access privileges. It has the added benefit of reducing effort expended in security administration, which can be redirected to other activities. The system also creates an audit trail that can be used for reporting and troubleshooting."
In addition to taking advantage of the Kuali Rice workflow features, University of Pennsylvania intends to leverage the Grouper/Kuali integration to feed group, identity and possibly role information into Kuali Ole (Online Library Environment) which Penn is a founding member. Kuali Ole seeks to define a next-generation technology environment based on a thoroughly re-examined model of library business operations.
While the idea of a collaboration between the Grouper and Kuali projects began several years ago, a plan to develop the integration came as a result of discussions among the community at the June 2009 Advance CAMP workshop. The meeting was a unique forum for improving channels for collaboration and alignment between community source middleware projects.
With highly motivated team members from both projects leading the way, the collaboration progressed quickly culminating in a demonstration of the integration at the Spring 2010 Internet2 Member Meeting in April 2010. With the recent release of Grouper version 1.6 in June 2010, the Grouper Kuali integration became available to users.
The 2010 "Advance CAMP: Second Identity Services Summit," held in Raleigh, North Carolina, in June 2010, continued the efforts towards alignment of open-source IdM software and may lead to additional collaborative projects.
"Collaborations like this, to keep independent open-source efforts aligned, continue to need nurturing, and this is a major goal of our Advance CAMPs," said Ken Klingenstein, Senior Director of the Internet2 Middleware and Security Initiatives. "For example, a key collaborative project on the horizon for the Grouper development team is to examine closer integration with Jasig's uPortal framework, among other important projects."
Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. Internet2 brings the U.S. research and academic community together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community to undertake collaborative efforts that have a fundamental impact on tomorrow's Internet. For more information: www.internet2.edu
About the Kuali Foundation
The Kuali Foundation (www.kuali.org) is a growing community of universities, colleges, businesses, and other organizations that have partnered to build and sustain open-source administrative software for higher education, by higher education. Kuali software is designed to meet the needs of all sizes of institutions, from land-grant research universities to community colleges. Members of the Kuali Community share a common vision of open, modular, and distributed systems for their software requirements. Kuali software is released under the Educational Community License. The Kuali Projects are tied together by the Kuali Foundation, a non-profit organization that coordinates the efforts of partners, manages and protects the community's intellectual property, and handles common concerns among the Kuali Projects.
Development of the Grouper Group Management Toolkit was supported with funding from University of Chicago and the University of Bristol with additional support from Internet2 through their NSF Middleware Initiative (Cooperative Agreements No. OCI-0330626 and OCI-0721896) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).