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 (2.0)
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
- Creation of a new Profile for an IdP
- Listing and Adding administrtators of an IdP
- Managing user populations in eduroam Managed IdP profiles
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 keys from version 1.x continue to be valid for version 2.0.
The API is JSON based: you send an HTTP POST with a BODY that contains a JSON construct. The JSON always contains the desired ACTION and the APIKEY. Depending on the ACTION, there may be additional required or optional PARAMETERs.
List of ACTIONs
The authoritative reference for the list of ACTIONs is on GitHub, https://github.com/GEANT/CAT/blob/master/web/lib/admin/API.php : the class constants API::ACTION_* are the available strings to put into the JSON ACTION field.
List of required and optional PARAMETERs
The authoritative reference for the list of PARAMETERs is on GitHub, https://github.com/GEANT/CAT/blob/master/web/lib/admin/API.php : the class constant API::ACTIONS contains two sets of parameters each, "REQ" = required parameters, "OPT" = optional parameters,
All parameters with potentially binary value are to be sent base64-encoded. That's also true for PEM files.
List of result codes
The HTTP POST will be answered with a "result" field, which is either "SUCCESS" or "ERROR". It is accompanied by a "details" field, which contains either the response details, or in the case of error, an additional "errorcode" and "description". The auhoritative reference for the list of error codes is on GitHub, https://github.com/GEANT/CAT/blob/master/web/lib/admin/API.php : the class constants API::ERROR_*
To create a new institution with a logo (the logo in this example is the eduroam logo) and a name with non-ASCII characters, use the following JSON request:
"VALUE": "Universit\u00e4t Logohausen"