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QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is a state agency established in 2012 by the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012 with a board appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.

QQI’s functions include those previously carried out by 4 organisations:

  • Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC).
  • Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC).
  • Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB).
  • National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI).

 

These functions include:

  • Develop awards and standards
  • Validate education and training programmes
  • Review providers of education and learning
  • Maintain National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
  • Authorise use of International Education Mark (IEM)
  • Develop quality assurance
  • Facilitate qualifications recognition

 

Challenge

QQI have a number of Line of Business (LOB) applications that were developed in house and use a variety of different technologies including SharePoint, Java and ASP.Net. The challenge was to detail a proposed architecture to deliver Single Sign-On (SSO) between the QQI LOB applications.

The focus was on a pilot project delivering a Proof of Concept (POC) for Multi Factor Authentication and Single Sign On between a SharePoint application and a CRM Portal ASP.NET application, leveraging Azure Active Directory Premium.

 

Project Objectives

The primary objectives of the project were as follows:

  • To establish SSO between 2 QQI LOB applications
  • To detail a proposed end-state architecture to deliver Single Sign-On (SSO) between the QQI LOB applications.

 

The Solution

The proposed architecture leverages the functionalities of Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium and Enterprise Mobility Suite. These were chosen primarily for AD Premium’s ability to provide single sign-on, user driven password reset functionality, and Multifactor Authentication (MFA) over a range of methods and devices including: the Microsoft MFA mobile app, text message, alternative email and phone call code verification.

 

The Benefits

  • A single set of credentials for users to access a number of different applications.
  • Users can move easily between applications.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Simplicity of use.
  • Reduced time spent supporting user accounts allows better management and easier enforcement of authorisation policies.
  • Reduced application development time.

 

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