Author Archive

Secure sharing of Higher Education Achievement Reports (HEARs) at Newcastle University using SMART

We’ve just released a draft version of the “Secure sharing of Higher Education Achievement Reports (HEARs) at Newcastle University using SMART” document. Our goal is to propose improvements to existing processes at Newcastle University and integrate SMART with some of the applications, as discussed. Please feel free to send your feedback.

You can also check out SMART white paper - single page that describes the problems in Higher Education that SMART AM solves.

Categories: Publications, Research

OAuth 2.0 Implementation in Python

July 23, 2011 1 comment

The SMART team has just released a new OAuth 2.0 implementation in Python. You can find the source code here and the documentation for the library is available here. The library in Python has  been developed entirely by Jacek Szpot (with a little help from the SMART team). Jacek joined SMART around 4 weeks ago and we are very excited about this first release.

The OAuth 2.0 Python library has been released under the Apache 2.0 license and we plan to continue further development. As always, we very much appreciate feedback and we’re open to suggestions on how to make the library better!

Categories: Development

Domenico & Jacek join SMART

We are extremely happy to announce that the SMART Team has 2 new members – Domenico Catalano (Oracle Corp., Italy) and Jacek Szpot (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland). Domenico’s theoretical knowledge and real-world experience in the areas of security, usability and software development will help with addressing issues and concerns raised in the initial UX study of SMARTAM. Jacek, on the other hand, is gaining experience in the areas of software development and Web security and will help with progressing with development of the UMA/j framework. Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Categories: Uncategorized

SMARTAM with History log and Access Requests log

We have just launched a new release of SMARTAM at Apart from fixing a few bugs, this release comes with two brand new features:

  • History log
  • Access requests log

History log is a list enabling you to see who accessed your resources and when. This way you are given even more control over protection of your resources and you are always able to follow what happens to your data. The other feature - Access requests – is a list of notifications from your friends who have heard about your data (e.g. newly uploaded photos) and have sent you a request to be able to access this data. You can then easily grant access to the requested data (according to your preferences!) instantly as this feature is located in the sidebar on almost all the pages of SMARTAM. This way you will be always sure that you didn’t missed anybody while setting security and privacy settings for your resources! Read more to see example screenshots!

Read more…

Categories: Development, Research, Usability, UX

Identity Deployment of the Year (IDDY) 2011 Award

February 19, 2011 1 comment

We’re pleased to announce that the SMART project has won the prestigious Identity Deployment of the Year (IDDY) 2011 award, in the Emerging Applications/Proof of Concept Category. The IDDY is awarded yearly by the Kantara Initiative, for deployment and development of identity management software. Previous winners include Google, US DoD, Vodafone, NTT and Oracle. This year’s winners were US National Institute for Health and Newcastle University. The Newcastle award was presented to Maciej Machulak during the Identity Collaboration Day in San Francisco.

Read more…

Categories: Presentations, Research

Apache Amber

February 13, 2011 5 comments

We’ve been recently getting a lot of questions regarding further development of OAuth Leeloo – our framework for building OAuth-enabled Web applications. We’ve decided to contribute the entire code to Apache Amber project – one of the projects from the Apache Software Foundation. Apache Amber will provide implementations for OAuth 1.0 and OAuth 2.0 protocols. Our team will continue to improve the library and we plan to adjust it to the final version of the OAuth protocol (once it’s there). Please update your dependencies accordingly and use the Apache Amber mailing list for discussions. All the necessary links for the source code repository as well as the mailing list are at Apache Amber’s project website at

Categories: Development

Maciej Wolniak joins the SMART Team

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment

We’re happy to announce that the SMART Team has a new member – Maciej Wolniak. Maciej is an expert in front end Web development and he will be helping us with creating User Interfaces for all UMA-related software. He will also work on usability related issues. You can read more about his previous career at his University’s Website:

Categories: Research, UX

Using Microsoft Surface for UMA

The User Experience study that the team has recently begun aims to achieve few things. We want to see how average Web users perceive UMA itself and if they are willing to use a new system for access management of their Web resources. Moreover, we want to know what users expect from such a system in terms of its functionality. However, what is most important, we want to know user’s expectations in terms of the system’s usability. Yes, usability is the key. We’ve already seen various functional and extremelly flexible solutions to access control (for Web resources). But combining flexibility with usability is not always easy. Our team tends to have lots of really good ideas when developing software for UMA, but it’s always the user who picks which ones of these ideas are actually worth pursuing.

Today, we had a chance to test our prototype Authorization Manager using Microsoft Surface. Yes, that’s right – we used it to define sharing settings for Web resources;) Microsoft Surface allows to use the NUI – Natural User Interface where users interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects across the screen, or by placing and moving these placed objects.

Read more…

Categories: Usability, UX

SMART and UMA @ Devoxx 2010

We’re pleased to announce that our talk titled “Introduction to UMA/j – User Managed Access framework” has been approved for the Devoxx conference that is taking place in Metropolis Antwerp in Belgium in November this year. We’ve submitted two proposals – one for the BoF session (1h long) and one for the Tools in Action session (30min session). Both proposals have been accepted.

It”s really great to be given the opportunity to discuss development with some of the best Java developers out there. We hope to increase interest in the UMA protocol and the library that we’re building here at Newcastle University as part of the SMART project. We’ll definitely appreciate the feedback of developers as well. So if you haven’t registered for Devoxx 2010 yet, now you have one more (great) reason to do so!

SMART affiliated with Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security @ NCL

We’re pleased to announce that the SMART project (Student-Managed Access to Online Resources) has been officially affiliated with the Centre for Cybecrime and Computer Security at Newcastle University! The CCCS carries out research and provides education to make the Internet safer for families, business and organisations. We believe that our project fits well into the overall goal of the CCCS research hub.

“Social network sites such as Facebook and many others need to be made safer to use.  UMA puts users in control of their own sensitive data, allowing them to protect personal information and data from misuse by others.  The user-centric vision behind UMA is particularly interesting and our Centre is very pleased to support this research further.”

Phil Butler, Detective Chief Inspector, Director of CCCS

Being a part of CCCS will be interesting but challenging as well. It means we’ll have easier access to the knowledge of great researchers here at NCL but it also means we’ll have to work hard to keep the level of research adequate. Anyway, it’s really good news!

Categories: Research

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