What is the project about?

Linkey is a JISC funded research project under the Access and Identity Management programme. It will run from June 2012 to May 2013.

The project will provide a detailed case study of the use of OAuth as an authorisation protocol here at the University of Lincoln. Working closely with the university Library, we will examine how the OAuth 2.0 specification can be integrated into a ?single sign on? environment alongside Microsoft?s Unified Access Gateway.

Who is working on the project?

Alex Bilbie, ICT Services

Joss Winn, Centre for Educational Research and Development

Tim Simmonds, ICT Services

Dave Masterson, Library

Why are we undertaking the project?

A recent review of the university?s library systems and services indicated that we had around 10 core applications which provide access to over 150 other resources, all of which have different methods of authenticating users ? some used LDAP to authenticate users (and so users use their network username and password) and others had their own database of users (which require a different passwords ? and in some cases usernames ? and every single one of these flows have a different sign in experience; some are web based with various designs, others are desktop based with a mixture of custom sign-in windows and Microsoft sign-in screens. Over 80% of user queries sent to the Library?s support email address around about problems accessing resources.

Outside of the library there are over 100 other systems and services that have visibility in the business processes across the university which also authenticate in a number of different ways.

All of these different authentication flows lead to a very inconsistent user experience and consistently for the last few years this has been highlighted in numerous student surveys.

What will the project achieve?

The anticipated outcomes of the project are:

  1. A case study of our implementation of OAuth 2.0 together with Microsoft?s UAG product. We will provide draft sections of the final case study in 12 monthly blog posts, allowing for early peer-review.
  2. Continued development of our open source OAuth 2.0 server (based on my server code), including an implementation of the SAML 2.0 Bearer Assertion Profiles for OAuth 2.0 specification and other relevant extensions to the main standard. We aim to produce a ?drop in? solution for OAuth 2.0, in a similar way that the SimpleSAMLphp project supports SAML implementations.
  3. A public workshop on the use of OAuth 2.0 in Further and Higher Education.
  4. A conference/journal paper, based on our case study.
  5. Expertise in the implementation of an institution-wide infrastructure for AIM.

When is the project taking place?

June 2012 ? May 2013

What is the project cost?

Total project cost: ?82,447. Funds received from JISC: ?49,990.

Where can I find more information?

Website: http://linkey.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk