MDQ service: a new functionality for simplified access to specific metadata

Marc Gérard

Content Developer @ Belnet
Sun, 05/28/2023 - 16:13

The volume of aggregated metadata in the Belnet R&E Federation has grown steadily in recent years. This volume can mean some slowness or unnecessary consumption of bandwidth for your organisation's use of certain SP/IdP. This is why our Services team has set up MDQ service, a system that allows you to easily aggregate metadata specific to an SP/IdP.

As a member of the Belnet R&E Federation, your organisation has an SP/IdP whose metadata is published as an XML file. Nowadays, metadata aggregation has become very important for certain federation entities. Your organisation's departments may have had to download a complete application-level metadata file. For example, to get the specific metadata of an SP/IdP, your organisation had to download a large global XML file containing all the aggregated metadata of, for example, eduGAIN Federation (71 MB).

A specific query to access your single entity XML file.

To make this step easier, our Services team recently developed the MDQ (Meta Data Query) functionality within Belnet R&E Federation. This allows you to save time, memory and network bandwidth. Thanks to this new functionality, instead of having to download the global file of a federation entity, you can quickly download the specific metadata of an SP/IdP thanks to a query system that can be easily configured at the URL level.

In the URL, you specify the federation entity, for example: Belnet, eduGAIN or a combination of both. You also specify which metadata you want to download: that of your IdP or that of your SP. In the cache, you can also set the validity date of the downloaded metadata. Last but not least, this new feature has high availability (redundancy). Don't miss this opportunity to get smaller XML files faster that contain only the metadata for the IdP/SP you need.

Surf to the Belnet R&E Federation interface for more information on how MDQ works
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