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Metadata Registration Practice Statement

InCommon maintains a registry of organizationally valid SAML metadata. Entity metadata is aggregated, vetted, signed, and published periodically at well-known HTTP locations.

Note: This Metadata Registration Practice Statement applies to the InCommon Export Aggregate only.

  1. Registration of an Organization
    1. An organization that wishes to register metadata in the InCommon Federation signs a legal document called the InCommon Participation Agreement.
      1. Data includes the name of the organization.
    2. The InCommon Registration Authority (RA) verifies the organization name against third-party information sources.
  2. Registration of Organizational Representatives
    1. Executive
      1. The InCommon Executive for an organization is identified on the Participation Agreement.
        1. Data includes email address and phone number
      2. The RA verifies the identity of the Executive via out-of-band methods.
    2. Site Administrator
      1. The Executive identifies one or more Site Administrators for the organization.
        1. Data includes email address and phone number
      2. The RA verifies the identity of a Site Administrator via a combination of automated processes and out-of-band methods. A Site Administrator is granted access to the InCommon Federation Manager, a web application for managing entity metadata.
    3. Delegated Administrator
      1. A Site Administrator identifies Delegated Administrators for the organization as needed. This is an optional role.
        1. Data includes email address
      2. The RA verifies the identity of a Delegated Administrator by sending the Delegated Administrator an email invitation confirmation. A Delegated Administrator accesses the Federation Manager using a federated credential.
  3. Production of Entity Metadata
    1. Supported XML Schema
      1. InCommon metadata conforms to and validates against the XML schema listed in the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0 Metadata specification.
      2. InCommon metadata also conforms to various extension schema. A complete list of extension schema required for exported metadata is documented on the Interfederation Technical Policy page.
    2. Registration of Entity Metadata
      1. Optionally, a Delegated Administrator submits entity metadata to the Site Administrator via the Federation Manager. A Site Administrator must approve all such entity metadata registration requests.
      2. A Site Administrator submits entity metadata to the Federation Operator (FedOp) via the Federation Manager.
      3. The RA vets and approves all metadata updates submitted by the Site Administrator.
    3. Augmentation of Entity Metadata
      1. The FedOp adds an <md:Organization> element to each entity descriptor. The value of <md:OrganizationName> element is verified as described above.
      2. The FedOp adds an <mdrpi:RegistrationInfo> extension element to each entity descriptor. The value of the registrationAuthority XML attribute is "https://incommon.org".
      3. The FedOp adds zero or more <mdattr:EntityAttributes> extension elements to each entity descriptor, including:
        1. entity attributes denoting entity categories (such as the Research & Scholarship entity category)
        2. identity assurance qualifiers
  4. Production of Metadata Aggregate
    1. Normally the FedOp signs and publishes metadata once every business day, at predetermined times according to published hours of operation. Occasionally the FedOp will produce metadata at other times, upon special request or solely at its own discretion.
    2. To begin the metadata production process, the FedOp aggregates entity metadata and wraps the entity descriptors in a top-level <md:EntitiesDescriptor> element.
    3. The FedOp adds an expiration date to the metadata aggregate. The value of the validUntil XML attribute on the top-level <md:EntitiesDescriptor> element is a date two (2) weeks into the future.
    4. The FedOp adds an <mdrpi:PublicationInfo> child element to the top-level <md:EntitiesDescriptor> element. The value of the publisher XML attribute is "https://incommon.org".
  5. Metadata Signing and Publication
    1. The InCommon Key Authority signs one or more Metadata Aggregates with a private offline key protected by multiple layers of access control. A rigorous Metadata Signing Process is followed.
    2. The corresponding public key is bound to a Metadata Signing Certificate used by metadata clients to bootstrap a secure metadata refresh process.
    3. Signed metadata aggregates are published to a well-known public Metadata Server.

Questions or comments? Contact: admin@incommon.org

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