Members of the TERENA community took the opportunity at the recent EUNIS 2010 event to highlight TERENA's middleware-related activities: TF-EMC2, TF-Mobility and Network Middleware and EuroCAMP. EUNIS 2010 was the 16th in a series of conferences within the framework of the European University Information Systems organisation (EUNIS), and took place at the University of Warsaw on 23-25 June 2010.
EUNIS Congresses are international events that attract a large audience from Higher Education Institutions (HEI), who share their experiences regarding Information Technology in HEIs. Since the goals of the attendees are similar to those of TERENA’s middleware-related groups, David Simonsen (WAYF), Victoriano Giralt (University of Málaga) and Brook Schofield (TERENA Secretariat) encouraged the campus and university community to get involved in TERENA’s middleware activities.
“There is still some effort needed to ensure that the country-level consortia responsible for developing student administration systems are aware of TERENA activities from which they can benefit. This includes not only middleware-related activities, but also services such as the TERENA Certificate Service (TCS),” explains Brook Schofield. “We see further growth in collaboration with the HEI consortia as well as other related student groups like the Rome Student Systems and Standards Group (RS3G).”
During the opening plenary session, titled "Revealing the identity of federations", David Simonsen provided an overview of the identity federation landscape in Europe, and the technology used to 'mask' identities for privacy and personalisation of services. The plenary set the tone for the ‘Mobility and Identity Federation’ stream, during which Brook Schofield drew parallels between eduroam and identity federations in his presentation "eduroam – the basis of educational roaming". He explained how the lessons learned with eduroam could be applied to benefit campus and federated authentication services. Victoriano Giralt described how the Andalusian Federation, CONFIA, supports students’ mobility by enabling collaboration with peers at 10 institutions in Spain.
David Simonsen closed the session with an in-depth technical explanation of the WAYF.dk federation infrastructure and how it is being used to create inter-federated and confederated services beyond Denmark’s borders. He also explained that the WAYF.dk federation has been useful in engaging with banking, commercial and citizen identity initiatives in addition to the research and education communities.
Commercial developers of student administration systems - a newly engaged segment of the community - and various student administration systems groups are currently working with RS3G to develop interoperable interfaces to enable student administration processes to support student mobility. A future EuroCAMP in 2011 will focus on practical interoperability issues and the coding and specification necessary between several leading administration systems implemented in European HEIs.