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This central component of eduGAIN SAML service is called Metadata Distribution Service (MDS).

Technical operational details about metadata signing, publication and other procedures can be found in the eduGAIN Operational Practice statement Document [eduGAIN-OPS].


The terms defined below are a required extension of the terminology defined in [eduGAIN-Profile]. The reader should consult both dictionaries for a complete picture.


  • a federation metadata feed is unavailable (the corresponding federation feed channel is not responding)

  • a federation metadata feed does not validate correctly

an alert is raised and delivered in the form of an e-mail to the delivered to the Operational Team. An error status is set on the eduGAIN status page and the cause of the error is displayed in the details section. The remaining cache time is also displayed. The status is also available trough through the eduGAIN access API, as described on: If the error condition persists reminder messages are sent in the intervals of 6 hours. If the federation metadata feed can be accessed/validated again, a recovery message is mailed to delivered to the eduGAIN OT mailing list.

During every aggregation run the validUntil timer for each of the federation metadata feeds is performed.


Federation public keys, federation feed channel locations (metadata URL), registrationAuthority strings are stored in the eduGAIN database.

Aggregation process is run half past every hour and is process is performed in the following steps:


All valid federation metadata feeds are passed to the aggregator in a sequence ordered according to the date when federations have started to supply data to eduGAIN upstream metadata. During aggregation the first occurrence of a given entityID will be used in the resulting eduGAIN metadata aggregate, any of the following occurrences will be discarded.