Right People, Right Stuff, Right Pain? [A2]


Intranets are about rather more than the glib sales pitch concerning internal Web pages. Perhaps the major issue is ensuring that the right people can see the right material – not too much, not too little. In a controlled intranet environment people should get to see information because of one of a number of non-exclusive ‘roles’ that they have (e.g. staff & lecturer & member of history department & student advisor & member of senate & member of AUT). The challenge is how to capture these roles and convert them into information access authorisation decisions. The solution, perhaps, is a mixture of process and technology, together with a bit of joined-up thinking.

This session will examine the issues and the group models conceived and implemented independently at Glasgow and York Universities using LDAP based directory services.

It will explore what can be achieved and through active participation of delegates we are keen to see how well the Glasgow and York models face up to the information authorisation needs of participants own institutions. There is scope for discussion on top down vs. bottom up grouping, mega groups and groups of groups, and inter-institutional interworking (good/bad idea, feasibility, Internet 2/Shibboleth, PAPI and the successor to ATHENS).

We expect you to come to the session knowing a reasonable amount about the way in which your institution functions and the fundamentals of web authentication and authorisation. You might expect to leave with some idea of how you might use groups and LDAP directory services to model the non-exclusive roles which people have in your institution and the problems that you will encounter along the way. You could perhaps learn something about where digital certificates might fit into the picture.