UF Clinical & Translational Research Informatics Program
The implementation of a virtual home for the University of Florida CTSI is essential
in order to offer a high degree of user participation, academic collaboration and
training, and community engagement. To achieve this, a system capable of meeting
the needs of public and private users must be implemented. This project describes the
utilization of an open source content management system (CMS), with integrated
GatorLink authentication using Shibboleth, an open source authentication system
used by both CTSI portals and other NIH and CTSA institutions.
In 2008, the University of Florida CTSI expressed a need to create a virtual home for
the myriad of Colleges, Institutes and entities. Since the number of participants could
initially number in the thousands, a high degree of user interaction and participation
in the portal is critical. To facilitate this requirement a project was proposed to create
a web based portal system that would be highly modular, open to collaborative
development, and relatively easy to train end users how to maintain individual
components and sections, which will in turn provide the public with access to an
intuitive portal. To address these requirements, the Drupal open source content
management system and the University of Florida GatorLink authentication system,
which federates uses Shibboleth technology, were selected as the foundational
components of the portal. These two interchangeable systems were chosen due to their
high degree of openness, modularity and public popularity. The UF CTSI Portal has
built the foundation for its virtual home on this platform. This same method can be
implemented among other CTSIs to provide federated authentication.
To provide the CTSI Portal, we implemented the following steps: 1) Constructed a
Linux (Debian Lenny) Apache web server into our VMWare VSphere infrastructure
with the Apache2 web server and PHP5 scripting language, 2) Installed the latest
version of the Drupal portal on the server along with a community-contributed
Shibboleth authentication module, 3) Connected Drupal to our MySQL database
server cluster, 4) Created the initial roles, adjusted permissions for the roles, and granted
users access to these roles, 4) Designed a custom template and added the initial content
types and navigation of content within the portal. (Figure 1)
Open Source Web Portal with Federated Authentication for CT
NIH and Academic Systems and Resources
Chris Barnes1, Narayan D. Raum1, June Nogle1, Mike Conlon1, Doug Theriaque2, Matt Bames1
1 University of Florida, Clinical and Translational Research Informatics Program 2 University of Florida, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
The CTSI Portal is now live, with Shibboleth (GatorLink) authentication system at
UE The system allows single sign on (SSO) access for tens of thousands of potential
collaborators at UF, NIH and other CTSA institutions. UF investigators can currently
use their GatorLink credentials to log in to federated resources at the NIH, as well as
systems within the University of Florida with GatorLink authentication integration.
This year the CTSI Portal is slated to become host for UF investigator, study and
participant registries. This will result in the integration of thousands of investigators,
studies and participants into a single platform.
As Shibboleth federated login capabilities are integrated into University of Florida
systems and NIH federated login systems, investigators will have uninhibited access to
many systems. CTRIP is currently implementing GatorLink authentication into
many of its custom developed registries, web portals and collaborative suites.
Regarding the content and resources of the CTSI Portal; most web portals are never
actually complete. We expect further development of the portal to be ongoing as the
CTSI initiatives continue to mature.
*Bj 'T" ?T *Ti i
demonstrates how users
are able to access
systems using the single
sign on (SSO) capabilities.
I1 Si S Ib bol e SjOvp Ie
This diagram demonstrates how users are able to access and authenticate to the CTSI Portal usi
their GatorLink credentials. Once authenticated, users can access additional UF and NIH federal
systems using the single sign on (SSO) capabilities.
Shibboleth at University of Florida Office of Information Technology
Shibboleth 2 Service Provider Procedure
F U UNIVERSIT Y of June Nogle, Ph.D Associate Director Christopher P Barnes Informatics Manager Narayan D. Raum Assistant Informatics Manager Matt Barnes Network Administrator Dr. Mike Conlon -CTRIP Director
U F FLORIDIA Clinical and Translational Research Informatics Program (CTRIP) http://www.ctrip.uf.e
, Associate CIO, IT Architecture Doug Theriaque CTSI Research Project Manager Shane Fryer Poster D
du University of Florida http://www.ufl.e