CTA Pilot Description
CTA is a community of astrophysics users which already had its own AAI solution in place, and represents for AARC, in this respect, a very good example of how to address the needs of a community who already developed an AAI. In this case their AAI solution was based on a SAML stand-alone, catch all Identity Provider, integrated with a Group management tool used for Authorization on selected service providers.
This pilot propose to provide a non-invasive solution to simplify access to CTA services from eduGAIN and the CTA community.
The requirements which have been identified from the beginning to add the CTA community to the eduGAIN interferation, from the CTA perspective, are:
- Implement a user-friendly enrollment flow
- Manage both CTA and eduGAIN identities for users
- Link identities under administrator approval
- Keep supporting Grouper as the main authorization front end towards SPs
- Include guest identities (Social IDs) - (light requirement)
- Support OIDC RP - (light requirement)
The work which has been carried out in the CTA pilot of AARC is aimed at onboarding the CTA community into eduGAIN. An infrastructure has been deployed based on the model proposed by the AARC Blueprint Architecture to enable the management of users coming from both eduGAIN Identity Providers and the CTA standalone IdP. The core component of the new infratstrucure is the SATOSA IdP/SP proxy, as the central AAI layer to serve the CTA community of users. In addition to that, an external attribute authority (COmanage) has been plugged to the proxy, in order to manage user enrollment process, ensure injection of additional user authorization attributes, allow for account linking whenever appropriate, requested by the users and granted by the manager of the collaboration.
This pilot perfectly fits with AARC's goals:
- It helps to solve issues related to authentication from different IdPs but logically related to the same scientific community
- The proposed solution uses only existing technologies, without the need of creating new ones
- It does not change the global approach for the CTA community
The proposed components within this pilot are highly flexible, which means that other scientific communities can easily adapt the components to fit their own authentication and authorization needs.
Pilot Implementation Phases
While onboarding the CTA community, to reach the desired AAI model (based on a central proxy and a community Attribute Authority (COmanage)), two main streams of work have been designed and implemented:
A) Provisioning into COmanage the already existing CTA identities inside the catch-all Identity Provider
To provision IDs of already existing CTA users into COmanage, we have made use of a temporary LDAP server and the LDAP user provisioning plugin of COmanage.
B) Model and implement an enrollment workflow for eduGAIN users (not already inside CTA IdP) - Functional integration of COmanage
The first step implemented in this phase of the pilot consisted of the integration of COmanage and Grouper. Grouper is a Group management tool used by the CTA community to manage Authorization. One of the requirements for CTA is to keep making use of this tool as a front end to their services. COmanage is a comprehensive Attribute Authority, managing the enrollment of users via their IdPs through different configurable workflows. For CTA user self-enrollment via a moderator admin user has been implemented.
CTA pilot Architecture