Sunday, August 6, 2006

Internet2 Introduces Middleware Toolkit

Internet2's Middleware Initiative introduced its Signet Privilege Management System and the Grouper Group Management Toolkit, making it easier for research and academic institutions to manage access to protected online resources.

The Signet Privilege Management System provides institutions an easy to use framework to manage user access privileges in terms familiar to business managers and provides a consolidated, shared authorization data repository that is independent of any specific institutional system.

The Grouper Group Management Toolkit enables both automated and manual mechanisms for assigning users to groups based on their individual campus affiliations, status, or other relevant roles.

Both Grouper and Signet can be used together or stand alone and enable a distributed model for control, so that those responsible for assigning or delegating user access privileges can directly manage them to meet their needs across all the necessary campus systems. For instance, a Biology professor can use Grouper to list the students working on a special project and then use Signet to designate that they should be allowed weekend access to his laboratory and to an associated research data set for specified length of time. Signet in turn interacts with the campus provisioning system to automatically adjust all the affected systems which secure the laboratory and research database. After the specified time, the system automatically removes the students' access to those resources.