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Draft Minutes: Grouper/Signet Combined WG BoF, 19-Sep-05

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  • From: Jessica Bibbee <>
  • To: , Signet <>
  • Subject: Draft Minutes: Grouper/Signet Combined WG BoF, 19-Sep-05
  • Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 13:05:10 -0400
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Apologies for the cross-posting:
Grouper/Signet Combined WG BoF
Fall 2005 Internet2 Member Meeting
September 19, 2005

Philadelphia, PA

Lynn McRae, (co-chair)
Tom Barton, U. Chicago (co-chair)
Jessica Bibbee, Internet2 (scribe)

This discussion covered the nearing v1.0 releases of the Grouper and Signet applications. The attendees raised several questions, including:
      - how does Grouper or Signet integrate with other things (e.g., web services)?
      - which is the right tool – Grouper or Signet – for which job?
      - how much effort is involved in integrating a system with Signet?
      - is there a Subject API available?
      - how customizable or extensible is Grouper or Signet?

{Lynn McRae} explained how Signet allows a user to assign basic privileges to a subject, and modify these settings, as is necessary. One feature allows a user to transfer assignment capabilities for a specified time frame. Still to come may be a simple rules capability, where privileges are granted to a person, given that certain prerequisite conditions remain true. – This test of an attribute would be passed though the subject interface back to Signet. The functional release of the UI will be available separately from the toolkit, or API release. Signet v.1.0 is expected to be available mid-November, with the toolkit to follow shortly.

Work will be done in the next year to rework the API, such that one could write a provisioning connector and use the API directly. One should be able to search the tree by keyword. Issues include information handling, column sorting, exporting to spreadsheet, resource bundle for application localization, and additional customization (e.g., more tiles, palettes.) Other ideas that have not yet been implemented include extensibility of connecting Signet to workflows and smart limits relative to the scope of the assignment.

{Lynn} turned to the participants for their suggestions for additions and priorities, in relation to their university needs. What is the complexity of a system that would be plugged-in to Signet? How does Signet integrate with an existing system, e.g., content management? {Lynn} offered three kinds of connectivity: 1) LDAP connector to move data into the infrastructure, 2) SPML connector to transform data into another form, and 3) integration with PeopleSoft or Oracle, etc. Another question pointed to the complexity for a deployer to get Signet to a functional state – what amount of re-/configuring needs to be done? {Jessica Bibbee} will be working with {Minh Nguyen} and {Lynn} to prepare all the documentation for Signet, including a spec sheet, minimum requirements, assumptions, level of difficulty, etc.

What does Signet's UI look like? To view Signet, check out the online demo: <;jse>. {Lynn} walked the audience through a simple series of assignments.

{Tom Barton} introduced the Grouper Roadmap, as follows:

v0.6 – Released Fri 16 Sep '05
- GUI that fully exposes the API
- Basic group & namespace management
- Subgroups
- Completed security model
- Simple search

v0.9 – mid-November, 2005
- API refactoring
- Initial performance optimization
- Additional search capabilities
- Subject renaming
- 'ALL' subject

v1.0 – mid-January, 2006
- Group math

v1.1 – mid-March, 2006
- Group & membership aging
- More config options

{Tom} also went through online Grouper demo, found at: <>. Grouper v0.6 was just released on 16-Sep, along with a GUI. Included are privileges with respect to name spaces and simple search capabilities. Grouper v1.0 is expected to be available by mid-January and should be a fully functional model, though it may not have all currently conceived features. The arrival date for a Subject API will be better known around the actual release of v1.0.

{Tom} encouraged questions regarding features, timeframes, definitions, and general concerns. There was a question of how complex group math was expected to be. The answer to this will be dependent on how a group's membership is set by the union of other groups – reunion, intersection, etc. – the simpler the combination, the easier to work with.

Grouper is very customizable, in the sense that the management of groups can be assigned at any level, as set by naming privileges for subsequent creation of groups, etc. It is of note that Grouper addresses both groups and name spaces, which are handled individually with distinct purposes. Differences in the extension, display extension, and actual display may provide insight as to who is the source of authority.

Contributed models, such as ongoing work from U. Chicago, may serve as a starting point for those wanting to map to their local environment, and may yield code towards that effort. Customizability and extensibility features for both the Grouper and Signet UI are issues that will be addressed. How is aging handled? Adding onto the UI is a possibility, but would entail API support. How does one go about the actual assigning? – Currently, there is no answer regarding the process for that proposition – but it is a good point of discussion for assessing the role within a middleware product.

Further discussion of Grouper and Signet work will be carried out via respective {grouper-dev} and {signet} mailing lists and subsequent conference calls. For more information or to participate, refer to: <> and <>.

The next MACE-Signet conference call will be held on Friday, September 30 at 11am ET. The next MACE-Dir-Groups conference call will be held on Wednesday, October 5 at 12pm ET.

  • Draft Minutes: Grouper/Signet Combined WG BoF, 19-Sep-05, Jessica Bibbee, 10/04/2005

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