Supporting Virtual Organisations using VOOT

TrackTrack 2 (Auditorium 2)
DescriptionA virtual organisation (VO) of researchers operates beyond the institutional borders and often in an international context. For easy collaboration between members of a VO, it is essential to use a coherent set of web-based services.
Traditionally, the VO or group administrator must create and maintain a group for each service, which is cumbersome and most error-prone.

For the ease of use and to simplify maintenance, the use of an external group provider is a possible solution. In this way, the VO or group administrator only needs to maintain the group at one place.

A good standard for using external groups did not exist yet, and so there is a need for a standard. Within GN3-JRA3-T2 (Identity federations) SURFnet works together with Uninett, SUnet and Renater on the specification and implementation of VOOT 1.

VOOT stands for Virtual Organization Orthogonal Technology and is a protocol for exchanging external group information, based on a distinct subset of the group related features of the OpenSocial REST API.

The focus for VOOT is on inter-federation contexts, with collaborators across federations. However VOOT is orthogonal to Identity Federations; it can make use of federated authentication but does not require it. Furthermore VOOT does not require shared user identifers between the external group provider and the service.

At the moment tests are done as a proof of concept between:

Sympa (Renater)
SurfConext (SURFnet)
Foodle (Uninett)
COIP (SUnet)
A successful integration test was done with Foodle using groups from the external group provider SURFconext 2.

The presentation will provide an overview of the protocol and the use cases.

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