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27 June 2011
Building federated identity infrastructure explained at EuroCAMP
EuroCAMP training in Istanbul

Hands-on, practical training on how to build federated identity infrastructure was the focus of the latest EuroCAMP (European Campus Architecture and Middleware Planning) in Istanbul on June 21-23, 2011. A collaboration between TERENA, the GN3 Development Support activity and the GN3 eduGAIN activity, this three-day event attracted around twenty people from national research and education networking organisations (NRENs) and campus and library communities in nine Eastern European and Southern Caucasus countries, where there are currently no identity federations in operation.

The training covered practical information on the tools and skills necessary to deploy identity infrastructure in a library, campus or country, including how to conduct training about these topics in local communities.

Bart Ophelders from K.U.Leuven (Belgium), Benjamin Andersen from WAYF (Denmark) and Brook Schofield (TERENA Secretariat) provided training on specific infrastructure needed for federated identity, including how to safely and securely expose the identities of user communities, how to offer and access services and resources in a federated community, and how to develop hub-and-spoke federated identity infrastructure that can scale from the campus to the country level. The first two training days finished with participants completing a working implementation of a simpleSAMLphp Identity Provider, a Shibboleth Service Provider and a JANUS Metadata Registry. The final session, conducted by Ian Barker (DANTE), trained attendees in how to deliver a successful training course themselves, focusing on the non-technical aspects of training such as presentation skills and how to create the right atmosphere.

Feedback on the course was overwhelmingly positive. Ieva Muraškienė of LITNET (Lithuania), a student in the workshop, explains the value of the course to her: "I have ‘touched’ Shibboleth, which was new to me. I also got better knowledge of simpleSAMLphp. And, of course, I increased my familiarity with JANUS." The diversity of the attendees and the range of skills they brought to the course helped contribute to a valuable exchange of information during the three days.

The materials and the virtual machines used during the EuroCAMP training will be revised, incorporating feedback from attendees and the trainers. These will be made available to attendees so that they can offer the same training event to their own community.

Further information

The TERENA EuroCAMP workshops started in 2005 with the aim of reaching out to the European campuses and promoting state-of-the-art middleware technologies. Anyone interested in participating in future EuroCAMP training or workshops should contact Brook Schofield from TERENA.

Building Federated Identity Infrastructure training webpage