Welcome to the TIER
November Newsletter

Welcome to the TIER (Trust and Identity in Education and Research) Newsletter for November 2016. The purpose of this e-newsletter is to keep you informed on what's happening in the TIER project.

About TIER

TIER is a community-initiated effort, coordinated by Internet2, to develop a consistent, rationalized approach to identity and access management that simplifies campus processes and advances inter-institutional collaboration and research. TIER is both an open source toolset and a campus practice set.

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New "Whiteboard" Video!

Internet2 Trust and Identity Framework at Amazing State University

Internet2 Trust and Identity Framework at Amazing State University - A Whiteboard Video

Watch this new video to see how Internet2's trust and identity framework—including community-developed infrastructure services like InCommon and TIER—allows higher education institutions to offer amazing collaborative experiences, run more efficient and secure IT operations, share improved administrative practices, and enable incredible discoveries.

Blog Posts

From the TIER Community Investor Council

Paths Forward Are Now Paths in Progress: Update on Trust and Identity Planning

Read the blog post about the steps being taken toward ensuring sustainability of key services within the Trust and Identity portfolio.

InCommon and TIER: Better Together

clip from the TIER Reference Architecture diagram

The TIER program and the InCommon suite of services—which form the national infrastructure for scalable identity transactions in support of research and education—are deeply linked in terms of their missions, mutual dependencies, and complementary investments of skill, time and resources. Read the blog about the connections between TIER and InCommon.

TIER at 2016 TechEx in Miami

Clip from Consent-informed Attribute Release demo at TechEx 2016

It’s safe to say that the TIER demos were among the “star attractions” for the Trust and Identity community at 2016 Technology Exchange. Read about the TIER demos and more in the blog post.

TIER Production Candidate Coming This Fall

Read this post to learn about the TIER production candidate package to be announced later this fall.

TIER Community Contributor Spotlight

Gabor Eszes, Old Dominion University

Gabor Eszes

(Left) Gabor Eszes

Gabor Eszes, middleware applications developer at Old Dominion University, has been an active contributor to both the TIER Data Structures and APIs Working Group and the TIER Packaging Working Group. Read the blog post to learn about Gabor’s background and his perspective on the TIER Program.

Working Group Updates

TIER Security and Audit

The Security and Audit Working Group has been developing a document defining its priorities for 2017 along with a work plan and task assignments to serve those priorities. The group has also undertaken a review of InCommon operations and incident security proposals, in particular InCommon’s Incident Handling Framework. In addition, the group has been looking at tighter coordination with other working groups as TIER continues to evolve its development approaches.

TIER Data Structures and APIs

The TIER Data Structures and APIs working group, led by Keith Hazelton (University of Wisconsin-Madison), has spun up a smaller cohort to develop a Grouper Deployment Guide, led by Bill Thompson (Lafayette College). The working group is also developing a roadmap with milestones and deliverables for the coming months. Major work will include provisioning integrations within the reference architecture. The API and Entity Registry groups will also collaborate with the Big Ten Academic Alliance task force on Best Practices in Provisioning and De-Provisioning.

TIER Entity Registry

The TIER Entity Registry Working group, led by Warren Curry (University of Florida), is continuing its work on TIER test bed. In addition, the group has completed an initial draft of a TIER Provisioning Charter, which will be shared with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) as part of the ongoing collaboration. The group has also been reviewing options for entity registry and provisioning engines, including both open source and commercial options. The work with the BTAA will also involve a joint evaluation of those options.

TIER Packaging

The TIER Packaging Working Group, led by Jim Jokl (University of Virginia), has been hard at work on testing of the latest versions of the TIER components. The group is focusing on Docker implementations of the Shibboleth IdP, COmanage, and Grouper components with group members testing the containers and drafting refinements as they go. The group has also begun work on a campus metadata management tool. The tool is intended to provide automation for the common, general campus use case, and will also make Shibboleth easier to deploy and use effectively.

TIER Component Architects

The TIER Component Architects Group, led by Steve Zoppi (Internet2), focuses on alignment of TIER processes, including the common core of technology platforms and tools. Recent discussion topics have included coordination for the next TIER release, instrumentation of the TIER components (for gathering key usage metrics and for campus monitoring of components in production) and harmonization of approaches to consent-informed attribute release (CAR).

Community Engagement at EDUCAUSE 2016

Poster Session at EDUCAUSE 2016

Several well-attended TIER events at the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, Oct. 25–28, enabled community engagement, including this busy poster session.

Key Internet2 identity initiatives are supported in part by National Science Foundation grants. For more information, see specific software sites.

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