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XSEDE user portal now uses Globus Auth

Apr 18, 2017

The XSEDE User Portal now uses XSEDE's Globus Auth interface for logging in. While mostly invisible to XSEDE users, this "under the covers" addition to the user portal lays important groundwork for XSEDE to offer more features from the Globus data platform, such as data transfer, data sharing, and data publication. It also offers simpler ways for campuses, science gateways, and other national research services to recognize and serve XSEDE researchers.

Globus Auth is based on the widely used OAuth 2.0 (OAuth2) and OpenID Connect 1.0 (OIDC) mechanisms, which are also used by the academic InCommon federation via the CILogon service, the ORCID research community, and public Internet services such as Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn. The XSEDE user portal now allows researchers to login using any of the hundreds of identity providers that already use OAuth2 and OIDC.

Researchers who enter their XSEDE username and password on the portal's login page will see no changes in their experience. (XSEDE and Globus cooperate to provide the familiar XSEDE login experience.) Clicking the "Other Sign In Options" button, however, allows the user to sign in via Globus. If the researcher is already using Globus for other work and has already configured his or her XSEDE identity with Globus, he or she will be automatically signed in to the user portal without another login prompt! If the researcher hasn't recently used Globus, he or she will be prompted to sign in using any existing campus or organizational identity. (This will most often be the campus where he or she works or studies.) 

Logging in to XSEDE user portal with "Other Sign In Options"

Once authenticated to a campus, a laboratory, ORCID, Google, or another participating service, the user will be signed in to the XSEDE user portal.

Having logged in to the user portal in this manner, researchers can use any other Globus-enabled Web services (such as Globus's data transfer application, or campus-provided Globus services) without signing in again. This lays the groundwork for XSEDE to be able to use many more features from the Globus data platform, such as data transfer, data sharing, and data publication. It also offers simpler ways for campuses and science gateways to recognize and serve XSEDE researchers.