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eduroam CAT: Purpose and scope

eduroam CAT is the eduroam Configuration Assistant Tool. Its purpose is to allow authorised eduroam Identity Providers to generate customised eduroam installers for various platforms, and to debug their RADIUS setup. Authorisation for IdPs to use eduroam CAT is determined by the eduroam National Roaming Operator (the eduroam "federation").

eduroam is organised in national federations. A federation administrator works at the eduroam National Roaming Operator (NRO) and accredits new eduroam IdPs, changes IdP details, or deprovisions eduroam IdPs. The primary vehicle for this is not eduroam CAT, but the official eduroam database, which contains all registered IdPs and their contact details.

An eduroam federation administrator can invite his IdPs to make use of the eduroam CAT if he wishes to; enabling or disabling IdPs for eduroam CAT is done inside the eduroam CAT administration interface. This interface does not replace an NROs internal customer relationship management system; in particular, CAT does not export data into the official eduroam database; it only consumes data from that database. An NRO is still required to maintain records of all its IdPs and SPs on its own, and to export the corresponding data to the official eduroam database.

Managing my federation

For users with the federation management privilege, eduroam CAT provides a dedicated web interface which allows federation administrators to

  • invite a new IdP to use eduroam CAT
  • add new representatives to existing IdPs
  • delete representatives of existing IdPs
  • take control over an IdP
  • manage the relationship between an IdP in eduroam CAT vs. an IdP in the official eduroam database

All of these functions are accessible after logging into eduroam CAT with an account with the federation operator privilege. With such a user account, a new button will be displayed in the personal overview page: "Click here to manage your federations". NB: if you are a federation administrator, but do not have a privileged account yet, please see the guide to eduroam Operations Support Services for federation administrators (here).

After clicking the button, an overview of the federation occurs, with entry points for the tasks mentioned above.

Invite a new IdP to use eduroam CAT

The button on the lower end of the page allows you to send an invitation to use eduroam CAT to an IdP in your federation. This can either be an IdP which is already in production (i.e. already listed in the official eduroam database with at least the "IdP" role) or it can be a new institution which is still in a bootstrapping phase (i.e. not yet registered in the official eduroam database).

After clicking the button, the following window will appear, which allows to take the required actions:

You can either select an institution which is already listed in the eduroam database ("Existing IdP") or you can instead use the "New IdP" row to enter an institution name and federation by hand.

In both cases, you need to enter the email address to send the invitation to. Before actually sending the invitation, keep in mind that the invitation token for the IdP admin will only be valid for 24h; and that the token can only be consumed once. It is thus wise to check that the mail address is going to be read in the next business day; and that tokens sent to a mailing list will only be valid for the first person who redeems the invitation token. It may be a good idea to use personal email addresses only.

Once you have sent an invitation, you will be taken back to the federation management overview, which now lists the new pending invitation. You can revoke the invitation even before it expires after 24h if you feel the need to.

When an invitation has been redeemed, all federation administrators of your federation will receive an email notification by eduroam CAT confirming that a new IdP was created.

Add or delete representatives of existing IdPs

Once an IdP exists in CAT (i.e. once the first invitation token for the IdP has been redeemed by an invitee), the IdP admin can add more administrators or delete others as he sees fit. You can do the same though, by using the "Add/Remove Administrators" link on the right side of the list of IdPs. Please consult the guide to eduroam CAT for IdP administrators for further details of administrators management.

Take control over an IdP

In some exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary that you as the federation operator directly manipulate an IdP in your federation. By default, you do not get read or write access to IdP data of the IdPs which you have invited; they are expected to manage their own IdP in self-service.

Circumstances in which this is not sufficient may include, for example:

  • an IdP admin has erroneously deleted himself and all other administrators of the IdP - so noone can manage them
  • you are deprovisioning an IdP, but he refuses to delete his IdP in the eduroam CAT web interface
  • the IdP admin requires assistance in setting up his IdP data, and you want to lend a hand

You can immediately add yourself as an IdP admin for each IdP in your federation by using the "Add/Remove Administrators" dialog box. For federation administrators, the dialog box has an additional button "Take control of this institution". By simply clicking this button, you will instantly become IdP administrator of this institution. Most notably, you do not need to send an email invitation to yourself; the process completes instantly.

From this moment on, the IdP will be listed in your Profile Page, from where you can edit and can manipulate it as you see fit.

Manage the relationship between an IdP in eduroam CAT vs. an IdP in the official eduroam database

Since the official eduroa database contains only production-level eduroam IdPs, but the CAT can also be made available to IdPs which are still in a setup/bootstrap phase, the databases of the two tools are not in perfect sync. To avoid fragmentation and desynchronisation of the databases, federation administrators are encouraged to link the same IdP in both databases together.

In your federation overview page, you'll see the database link status on your dashboard page; the IdP is either "linked" or "NOT linked" to the eduroam database.

IdPs are automatically linked correctly if you used the "Existing IdP" dropdown list when inviting the first IdP administrator; then no further action is required. You can still click on the "Manage DB link" button to see some IdP details as seen from both databases.

If you created a new IdP instead, then this new IdP will not (ever) be linked automatically to an entity in the eduroam database. Once the IdP is in production and becomes listed in the eduroam database, you can add the link yourself by pushing the same "Manage DB link" button.

Simply select the appropriate entry from the dropdown list and click on "Create Link" to link the IdP as seen by eduroam CAT to the entity as seen by the eduroam database.

Once an IdP is linked, there is no user interface possibility to un-link them again, because there no use cases for this. Should the need to un-link an eduroam CAT IdP from an eduroam database entity, you should contact eduroam Operations by mail.

UI-less Automated Management: the Admin API (1.0.3)

As a federation administrator, depending on the number of IdPs in your federation, you may find it cumbersome to add institutions interactively. Or maybe you already have a customer self-service management system where authorised IdP admins could self-enroll without you being in the middle.

For cases like this, a small API was created which allows federation administrators to automate a limited amount of actions:

  • Creation of a new IdP
  • Checking the number of registered administrators of an IdP

Getting API access

The CAT Admin API requires the federation admin to be in possession of an API key. The API key is a long random string which needs to be used when executing API actions. The key is also bound to the federation; i.e. you can only create or query IdPs in your own federation with it.

API keys are distributed from eduroam Operation Team to federation admins on email request. Please contact eduroam Operations for your Admin API key.

API Basics

API actions are executed by sending an HTTP POST to Different actions need different POST parameters as per the following table. More details about the actions is available in their respective sections below.

ActionExplanationRequired ParametersOptional ParametersReturns
NEWINSTCreates a new IdP in your federation



option, value (arrays of properties of the new institution)

enrollment_URL: The URL your new IdP admin must visit to be registered as IdP admin

inst_unique_id: The unique identifier in CAT for the newly created institution

ADMINCOUNTQueries the number of registered IdP admins



nonenumber_of_admins: The total number of administrators of the institution


(in 1.0.4+)

Queries the number of downloads per device and in totalAPIKEYnoneXML structure with intformation per-device with their admin & user downloads, and the grand total for all devices


The response is an XML file which either informs of success or failure.

Success responses may contain further details. All failure responses contain an integer error constant detailing what went wrong, along with a human-readable description:

Integer return valueMeaningExplanation
1ERROR_API_DISABLEDThe Admin API is disabled on this instance of CAT.
2ERROR_NO_APIKEYThe request did not contain an API Key.
3ERROR_INVALID_APIKEYThe requst contained an API Key, but it was invalid.
4ERROR_MISSING_PARAMETERThe selected action requires parameters, but at least one such parameter was missing.
5ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETERAll required parameters for the action were specificed, but some are invalid.
6ERROR_NO_ACTIONThe request did not specify which action should be done.
7ERROR_INVALID_ACTIONThe request requested an action which is unknown to the system.

(defined in web/admin/API.php)

A typical error response looks like this:

    <description>APIKEY is invalid</description>

Creating a new institution (Action: NEWINST)

This action creates a new institution in your federation. With only the required parameters, it is merely an empty shell of an institution. The API will return an enrollment URL, which you must communicate to your future IdP admin, and he must follow that link to bind his user identifier to the new institution.

The parameter NEWINST_PRIMARYADMIN is the value which will later be shown in the administrator management as "originally invited as". For user-interactive IdP creation, you are probably used to see email addresses in this field, because the invitations are then sent by email. Since the API puts the burden of showing the enrollment URL to your users on your shoulders, you are free to use any distribution channel for that (you could, for example, put the return code into an HTTP REDIRECT). Therefore, the text in this field is arbitrary. You can use it to correlate it to user IDs in your own customer management system or fill in arbitrary fantasy values. Just note that the values will be seen by the institution admin later on, so watch your wording (smile)

If you already know some properties of the institution (e.g. if you already register details about institutions in your own customer management system) then you can send almost all institution attributes inside the POST as optional parameters. The new institution will then be pre-provisioned with these attributes. The attribute-value format of the optional parameters is a bit peculiar:

The POST parameter option[Sx] specifies the name of the attribute to set; yes, that is a literal character "S" followed by an integer number of your choice (numbers do not need to be consecutive nor start at 1). All options can occur more than once.

Every POST parameter option[Sx] requires a corresponding value[Sx-<datatype>] parameter (see the table below for the data type identifiers).

Multi-language attributes also require a value[Sx-lang] parameter with the two-letter language code of the language this parameter is in (see the table below to see which attributes are multi-language). The language tag to use for "default/other languages" is "C".

The available options on the institution-wide level are:

Option NameExplanationvalue Data TypeMulti-language?
eap:ca_urlURL to a CA certificate which signs the server certificate (root or intermediary)0 
eap:ca_filefile of a CA certificate which signs the server certificate (root or intermediary)2 
eap:server_namename (CN) of authorized RADIUS server0 

geographical coordinates of the institution or a campus (a PHP-style serialised

array of two numbers "lat" and "lon"), using a full stop "." as decimal separator

general:instnamename of the institution0YES
general:logo_urlURL to a file containing institution logo0 
general:logo_filefile containing institution logo2 
general:SSIDadditional SSID to configure, WPA2/AES only0 
general:SSID_with_legacyadditional SSID to configure, WPA2/AES and WPA/TKIP0 
support:emailemail for users to contact for local instructions0YES
support:phonetelephone number for users to contact for local instructions0YES
support:urlURL where the user will find local instructions0YES
support:info_filefile containing the Terms of Use/Acceptable Use Policy for this IdP2YES

When only these options are set, the API will create a new institution without profiles. It is also possible to add a (one) profile to the institution automatically by including one or more of the following options (at least on the set of the first three must be set):

Option NameExplanationvalue Data TypeMulti-Langauge?
profile:nameThe user-friendly name of this profile, in multiple languages0YES
profile:descriptionextra text to describe the profile to end-users1YES
profile:productionprofile is ready and can be displayed on download page (only acceptable value is "on")3 
profile-api:realmthe realm associated with this profile0 
profile-api:anonthe local part of the anonymous outer identity to use, if that feature is turned on0 
profile-api:useanonturn on anonymous outer identity support3 

integer value of a supported EAP type, as per the following table. Preference of EAP types is determined by the order induced by their option[Sx] sequence number.

valueEAP Type



A new institution should be created:

  • You have been given an API key "secretvalue" for your federation
  • You want to create a new institution "A Random Institute" (this is the default name for all languages except French).
  • The name in French should be "Institut de Chance".
  • Their EAP server uses a root CA file which resides on your hard disk
  • The institution logo is on your local hard disk as well
  • Their support email address for all languages is "support@dev.null"
  • The invitation handle for the primary institution admin should be "CUSTDB-135 John R. Doe"

For simplicity, you decide to simply use the command-line tool "curl" to craft a POST and register the institution. The command-line for curl reads:

curl \
-F APIKEY=secretvalue \
-F option[S1]=general:instname \
-F value[S1-0]='A Random Institute!' \
-F value[S1-lang]=C \
-F option[S2]=general:instname \
-F value[S2-0]='Institut de Chance' \
-F value[S2-lang]=fr \
-F option[S3]=eap:ca_file \
-F value[S3-2]=@/home/swinter/scratch/someca.pem \
-F option[S4]=support:email \
-F value[S4-0]=support@dev.null \
-F value[S4-lang]=C \
-F option[S44]=general:logo_file \
-F value[S44-2]=@/home/swinter/balin/Pictures/GEANT2-logo.gif \

The reply from the CAT API is then like:

  <success action='NEWINST'>

You see that the URL to register is inside enrollment_URL; and you can take note that the institution was created in CAT with the unique identifier "273". You present that URL to your administrator, and ask him to click it and log into CAT to become admin of the IdP in question.

Later that day, you wonder if the admin has actually done that; you use the API action "ADMINCOUNT" for that.

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