3 New Services Streamlining Access to eResearch Capabilities

Mr John Scullen1, Elleina Filippi

1Australian Access Federation, Brisbane, Australia, john.scullen@aaf.edu.au


For the past nine years, Australian researchers have seamlessly accessed hundreds of eResearch capabilities connected via the Australian Access Federation (AAF). The AAF continues to enhance identity and access solutions that underpin research applications. These enhanced solutions lead to greater uptake and accessibility of research services, data, and facilities.

This presentation will explore three key initiatives that will expand the access and authentication options available to Australian researchers:

Enhanced International Connectivity through eduGAIN

eduGAIN[1] is a global initiative to connect federations around the world. It enables researchers, educators, and students in one country to collaborate with colleagues and securely access applications in other countries. By participating in eduGAIN, the AAF is able to provide Australian researchers with global collaboration opportunities to advance their research. eduGAIN also enables international collaboration partners to access Australia’s NCRIS capabilities (via participating international federations).

The significant effort to connect the AAF to eduGAIN in 2017 is beginning to yield positive outcomes. Connecting the Murchison Widefield Array telescope to eduGAIN has simplified access to astronomical data from the southern hemisphere for a global team of researchers.

Australia’s eduGAIN connection is helping to accelerate innovation by enabling experts to conduct cross-border collaboration around shared data sets.

Simplified AAF ConNectivity with Rapid Identity Provider

Rapid Identity Provider (IdP) is a new SaaS platform that lowers technical barriers, simplifies connectivity to the AAF and takes away most of the maintenance commitment that comes with running your own identity provider. If your organisation isn’t already connected, Rapid IdP provides the fastest and easiest way to connect to hundreds of research applications around Australia and around the world.

Discover how Rapid IdP overcomes the challenges of running an on-premise identity provider and releases identity management teams to focus their expertise on helping researchers tackle bigger challenges.

Added flexibility via OpenID Connect

OpenID Connect (OIDC) is an emergent specification in the identity space which provides a simple identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 authorisation framework.

OIDC is an attractive option for developers (in particular the NCRIS capabilities) as it is applicable for multiple application environments (including mobile) and integrates directly into application code. Adoption of OIDC by large commercial players such as Google and Microsoft is driving widespread usage.

Find out about the OIDC proxy service and how it creates new possibilities for the Australian research community.

[1] edugain.org


John joined AAF in February 2016 to lead the development of new processes and tools in the Next Generation AAF project. His role has since expanded to oversee the AAF’s project portfolio and managed service offerings.

With 25 years’ experience in the higher education sector, John has a strong track record of successfully delivering large, complex projects and in developing innovative approaches technology solutions.

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