AARC training for biological data infrastructure gets positive results

Training provided by the AARC project was rated very highly by participants in a workshop for ELIXIR, the ESFRI research infrastructure for biological data, in April 2017. The event was hosted by the Freiburg University in Germany and focused on IT professionals managing research services for the ELIXIR community, with more than 20 people from Germany, Finland, Norway, Luxemburg, Italy and Spain participating. This was the second AAI training workshop the AARC project has provided for ELIXIR, following the success of the first AAI training workshop in Manchester in March 2016.
The training used a hands-on approach across two days. During the first day the participants installed a Shibboleth Service Provider server in the virtual machines running in their laptops. The training was based on a concept and material prepared and donated by SWITCH, the Swiss identity federation operator, which has been providing similar training in Switzerland for years.
The second day’s focus was on the ELIXIR AAI, the ELIXIR service portfolio for authenticating researchers and helping the ELIXIR services to manage their access rights. The ELIXIR AAI experts introduced the principles and design of the ELIXIR AAI and helped the participants to integrate the Shibboleth Service Providers installed the day before to the ELIXIR AAI. As an outcome, the participants had in their laptops an operational Shibboleth Service Provider integrated to the test environment of the ELIXIR AAI.
OpenID Connect has recently received traction also in the life science community and the ELIXIR AAI is rolling out support to it. During the afternoon the participants were introduced to how to use OpenID Connect as an alternative protocol to integrate to the ELIXIR AAI. In the hands-on session the participants integrated an OpenID Connect Relying Party running in their laptop to the OpenID Provider of the ELIXIR AAI.