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Federation Manager Redesigned for Ease of Use; Support for Baseline Expectations

Jun 05, 2018, by Nicholas Roy
Tags: Recent Posts, Trust & Identity

Work continues on the InCommon Federation Manager, the federation trust registry web application that InCommon Participants and staff use to manage federation metadata. This is a key piece of infrastructure for all InCommon Federation participants. Improvements to the user interface will make things easier for site administrators, and recent changes will support the Baseline Expectations program. This work is made possible by last year’s InCommon fee increase and a previous Internet2 dues increase, allowing us to add staff and hire consultants to make progress.

In early 2017, we embarked on a project to document the existing state of the software and requirements, both current and future. This led to the development of a roadmap, which you can find at the InCommon Software Development wiki page. The roadmap shows you where we have been, what we are currently doing, and where we plan to go with this critical component of InCommon Federation service delivery. You can also see the release notes that provide details of past changes.

This year, we’ve focused on addressing technical debt and new features, including, but not limited to:

  1. Allowing Identity Provider certificates to be more easily managed Introducing a realtime error reporting and tracking system
  2. Introducing more complete test coverage and a continuous integration pipeline which runs tests each time code is committed by a developer
  3. Warning Site Administrators when their metadata does not meet Baseline Expectations

We are currently working on a release to further refine and clean up the user interface, and introduce automated approval for metadata elements that do not require Registration Authority approval (Examples: Logo URL, Privacy Policy URL, contacts). This fall, we plan to:

  • introduce an enhanced ability to self-assert entity attributes
  • provide the ability for the Registration Authority to more easily add new entity attributes on an as-needed basis
  • develop a new Registration Authority dashboard that will align with the look and feel that Site Administrators currently have.

In 2019 and beyond, we’ll continue to refine this important infrastructure and hope to introduce new features, including:

  • on-demand metadata signing and publication
  • additional self-service capabilities
  • an updated delegated metadata management process which will support a much larger scale of metadata administration by many more people than the current process allows.

We’re pleased to continue to be able to refine the core software that manages trust in the InCommon Federation. Thank you for your continued support!