A complete redesign for Belnet R&E Federation's management tool

Marc Gérard

Content Developer @ Belnet
Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:58

The Belnet R&E Federation platform has been completely rewritten to optimise your experience. Discover, right now, the new features that will help you effortlessly upload, correct and validate your institution's metadata.

If you are the local administrator for the Belnet R&E Federation service for your institution, you will notice that the user experience on the Belnet R&E Federation platform has been greatly enhanced. This is the result of a code rewrite initiated by our technical team in 2022. In addition to improving the platform's style and ergonomics, new features have been added to ensure easier and more efficient management of your metadata.

Add a URL to retrieve your metadata

In addition to the ability to copy and paste or import a file, a third option has been added enabling you to upload your XML files. It allows you to insert a URL from which the metadata will automatically be imported on a daily basis to ensure that the downloaded data is updated regularly. Every time a new full aggregated metadata is generated, it will use the URL provided. The last valid copy will be used if this new metadata is not accessible or is invalid.

This new option is very useful for systems using Microsoft products such as ADFS, because in such applications, the certificates copied into the metadata change regularly. Using this new functionality, you will no longer have to reconnect to the platform to adapt your metadata to each certificate update.

Correct your XML with the "Try to fix errors in the XML" function

Once your XML code is displayed in the "Metadata in XML format" window, errors and warnings are automatically displayed on the right. As long as errors are detected in the XML, the upload of your metadata cannot be validated. Using this function, the validation system can, to a certain extent, correct some frequent syntactic errors itself.

This XML checker also tells you if the code is correct for use in eduGAIN and gives you an example for compatibility with eduGAIN.

Keep track of all your institution's metadata

Using the "List of institution's metadata" button, see the history of your entries. This way, you can keep an eye on the structure of your previous XML files. This can be useful to have an overview of your institution's metadata in case your platform is used by several administrators.

Download the Federation's global metadata

If you want to test or configure your IDP for Federation use, you can download Belnet metadata from the 3 URLs available via "List of downloadable metadata":

  • The official Federation
  • The official Federation merged with eduGAIN
  • The test Federation

If you are an administrator, discover all the new features

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