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First Version of Software and Practices Under the TIER (Trust and Identity in Education and Research) Program Released

Apr 18, 2016, by Dean Woodbeck
Tags: Frontpage News, TIER, Trust & Identity, Trust and Identity in Education and Research

The Internet2 community has released the first version of software and practices under the TIER (Trust and Identity in Education and Research) program. This release provides some new functionality, but its main purpose is to demonstrate the direction for the TIER Program and receive community feedback.

What is in the first release?

The release packages the three open-source software components (Shibboleth, Grouper, and COmanage Registry) provides a first look at a container-based distribution. This containerized approach, and the use of APIs, will become more important as time goes on and these software tools become more integrated. InCommon services and working groups, which also support the goals of TIER, contributed InCommon’s Global Interfederation service and two practice sets. Also included is MACE-Directories eduPerson schema that supports the ORCID identifier. (ORCID is a community-driven registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.)

We are very interested in your feedback and have developed a web page to serve as a central location for support contact information. Although the software components in the TIER release have been tested and released by their respective engineering teams, the containers must be tested and refined with the help of campus practitioners.

We have scheduled a webinar to provide an overview of the TIER work to date. Here are the details:

    Date: Monday, April 25, 2016
    Time: 2 pm ET / 1 pm CT / Noon MT / 11 am PT
    Adobe Connect URL:

Thanks to All Who Contributed to This Release!

Hundreds of community members worked hard to establish a solid foundation for TIER. Through a series of workshops, campuses contributed more than 200 use cases demonstrating the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to identity and access management, and helping to determine both the requirements and TIER’s foundation elements.

TIER also relies heavily on working groups to get the community portion of the work done, involving more than 100 active, contributing individuals from the community. These teams, together with Internet2 contracted partners and staff, work to ensure complete and comprehensive software and practices development, documentation, partner engagement, and campus engagement. Internet2 also thanks the 49 TIER investor institutions and all Internet2 members for their support.

TIER Backstory

TIER is both an open-source toolset and a campus practice set. The toolset includes open-source software components and APIs packaged in a container, with a regular release schedule. The ultimate goal of TIER is the integration of community-developed open source trust and identity software components into a manageable and complete identity and access management suite, supported by common campus practices.

Starting in 1999, the Internet2 community collaborated to develop three open source software packages (Shibboleth, Grouper and COmanage) and deployed the InCommon Federation. TIER grew out of campus discussions and the desire to align efforts to sustain these components, integrate them and extend their functionality to support key use cases. More than 100 community members participate in TIER working groups. The effort is initially funded by 49 investor campuses and an allocation of Internet2 membership fees, and is guided by the TIER Community Investor Council. More information and the process and history of TIER is on the About TIER web page.