Federated Identity Management


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
TAB Liaison: 
Andrew Treloar
Case Statement: 
IG Established

A strategic element to maintaining a competitive advantage in research is by focussing energies in areas of innovation, which is facilitated by sharing of resources and support of inter-disciplinary collaborations at the national and international levels. The primary impediment to this resource sharing and collaboration is the lack of an effective FIM (Federated Identity Management) ecosystem.

The FIM interest group (FIMig) is an international cross-domain interest group to work on all issues related to the use FIM for the implementation of AAIs (Authentication and Authorization Infrastructures) in research infrastructures.

Not all research data and computing resources are publicly available so that access needs to be constricted sometimes, e.g. until a dissertation has been published, or because highly sensitive personal data are included. Thus AAI technologies should be a part of RDA activities.

Solving the problem of constraining access to services and data to authorized people is a fundamental problem in research infrastructures where solutions are usually seen as combinations of an authentication part (identifying the user) and an authorization part (determining a persons access rights).

Although there are many possible solutions to enable an AAI, the FIM approach is especially well suited for research infrastructures that are distributed over many sites and need to be scalable. User friendliness is an important issue: that the technology requires no specialized knowledge from the end users. Through the release and delivery by FIM of roles and other specific user attributes, FIM can also directly be used for access control of protected resources, although this is not a requirement.

The interest group considers as its main task to discuss and propose solutions for the problems that are experienced by research infrastructures that need FIM services in order to operate their facilities and to serve their user communities. This agrees with the RDA ideal of a bottom-up approach where the data-practioners, in this case organised in thematic research infrastructures, are the major driving force. Past experience has taught us that solutions are required on managerial, operational, legal and technological planes, which means that representation also of enabling organizations and software producers is needed.

The starting point of FIMig are the discussions by the FIM4R group (http://cds.cern.ch/record/1442597?ln=en) where a number of research communities have prepared a common AAI requirements document (http://cds.cern.ch/record/1442597/files/CERN-OPEN-2012-006.pdf) and initiated a number of pilot developments. This group is mainly EU based but the results and conclusions reached are not geographically restricted and valuable input has been received from colleagues in Asia and the USA. Creating a discussion platform within RDA will enable it to broaden the current discussions within FIM4R group using RDA contacts (thinking here especially of US and AUs colleagues) and of course the special RDA group discussion facilities.

Efforts will be made to ensure a balanced representation of existing organizations that are stakehoders in the FIM landscape. These are the academic identity federations and their inter- organizations, as are the research community organizations and the projects through which they work realizing research infrastructures.

Beyond Interest Groups, the RDA includes also Workgroups. These are much more focussed on solving specific use-cases by (reference-) implementations and need to have a well defined timeline for their realisation. The RDA FIMig envisages kickstarting such workgroups, operating under a FIMig umbrella to solve specific problems when it thinks this is feasible and useful. This is thought to be the most productive way of achieving progress and working towards the goal of providing an interoperable, production AAI service to the multi-domain research community and beyond.

The provisional FIMig members:
Daan Broeder, MPI for Psycholinguistics, NL daan.broeder@mpi.nl Bob Jones, CERN, CH Robert.Jones@cern<NOSPAM>.ch
Peter Gietz, DAASI International, D
Tommi Nyronen, CSC, FI
Andrea Baldi, ESA, IT
Philip Kershaw, STFC, UK
David Kelsey, STFC, UK
Mirjam van Daalen, SwissFEL, CH
Romain Wartel, CERN, CH
Dean Flanders, FMI, CH
Wolfgang Pempe, DFN, D
Larry Lannom, CNRI, USA

Giridhar Manepalli CNRI, USA

Jim Basney NSCA, USA
Glenn Moloney, NeCTAR, AU
Nigel Ward, NeCTAR, AU
Tom Fifield, University Melbourne, AU 

Recent Activity

06 Dec 2019

RDA Plenary 15 Announcements - Registration And Calls For Co-Located Events And Posters Now Open


RDA is excited to announce several important pieces of information related to RDA Plenary 15: Data for Real-World Impact, which will be held from 18-20 March 2020 in Melbourne, Australia at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, MCEC (https://mcec.com.au/).   This event will be hosted by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) with the support of the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC).

28 Nov 2019

Deadline For P15 Group Session Submissions Extended To 5 December 2019

Dear RDA members, 


RDA's 15th Plenary meeting, Melbourne, Australia, 18-20 March 2020 


The deadline to submit session proposals for Plenary 15 in Melbourne, Australia has been extended to 5 December 2019, midnight UTC.

09 Oct 2019

CODATA Data Science Journal Call For Papers: Research Data Alliance Results Special Collection

Dear members,

I’m writing on behalf of the editorial board of the CODATA Data Science Journal. I would like to recall the possibility to submit the outputs produced by this group for the special collection of CODATA DSJ on RDA Results. Publication fees will be covered by the EC project "RDA Europe 4.0".


24 Jun 2019

Plenary 14 Session Submission Deadline Is Thursday!

With Plenary 14 (P14) scheduled to occur from October 23-25, the deadline for session submission is this Thursday, 27 June at 16:00 UTC.

Submissions for meeting sessions are open to working groups, interest groups, joint groups and birds of feather (BoF) meetings.

Please note, however, submissions are accepted from group chairs only. If you submit a session request for a group, please notify the other chairs of that group.

16 May 2019

Plenary 14: Call for Sessions, Collocated Events, Posters and Registration Now Open!

Taking place from 23-25 October 2019, the 14th RDA Plenary will take place in Dipoli, the nature-immersed building of Aalto University, Helsinki, in Finland, “one of the happiest countries in the world”, states Per Öster, CSC-IT Center For Science Director and Co-Chair of the P14 Programme Committee.