Platform Challenge 1: Simplified Sign On

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By George Thomas | On Fri, 06/01/2012 - 10:09am


The Simplified Sign-On platform challenge will improve community engagement and make it easier for collaborators to contribute by providing service requestors seamless access to multiple HDP technology components, leveraging new approaches to decentralized authentication. This $35K round one HDP platform challenge runs for four months and is open to submitters from June 5 through October 2 2012 on First place wins $20K, second $10K and third $5K. Another upcoming challenge that focuses on 'securing the data (not just the device)' will leverage these authentication capabilities, adding role and attribute based authorization features, realizing one solution for data element access services, as described in the PCAST Health IT Report

Details is leveraging a variety of open source infrastructure components including the Drupal 7 content management system, the CKAN data portal, the Solr search engine, and the community edition of Virtuoso (providing RDF database, Linked Data, and SPARQL endpoint query services). Going forward, the HDP team intends to realize an architecture similar to the Linked Data Integration Framework (LDIF) and leverage the open source tools in the integrated LOD2 stack where possible, beginning with Ontowiki as a Virtuoso editor, most likely followed by SILK for automating cross domain correlations. HDP would like to enable service requestors to be authenticated using WebID from the W3C.

Some of the current and upcoming HDP infrastructure components support aspects of WebID functionality already while others do not. A number of open source WebID libraries are available, written in various languages. The latest version of the community open source edition of Virtuoso comes with WebID support, and OpenLinkSW offers a free WebID identity provider service that will generate the necessary X.509 certificate for installation in your browser and host your WebID URI (here's mine). The Drupal community has a WebID module project led by a well known contributor. CKAN is deprecating OpenID support in favor of WebID. 

This challenge winner will present a replicable open source virtual machine environment demonstrating how HDP components (with an initial emphasis on Virtuoso, Drupal 7, CKAN, OntoWiki, and Solr) can provide and/or consume WebID’s, contributing to simplified sign-on for humans and machines. The developer designs how their code might utilize each component as a WebID identity provider or relying party, presumably leveraging existing capabilities to the fullest extent possible. The end result will demonstrate seamless integration across a number of HDP components, without introducing any external service dependencies that couldn’t be soley operated by HHS. The contributed code will be given an open source license and managed by HHS on, with copyright and attribution to the developer(s) as appropriate.

Teamwork is encouraged!


  • Submission Period Begins: June 5, 2012
  • Submission Period for Entries Ends: October 2, 2012
  • Evaluation Process for Entries Begins: October 5, 2012
  • Evaluation Process for Entries Ends: October 19, 2012
  • Winners notified: October 26, 2012
  • Winners Announced: Industry conference TBD

    $35K in Prizes!

    1. First Place: $20,000 plus conference exhibition opportunity
    2. Second Place: $10,000
    3. Third Place: $5,000

    Submission Requirements

    In order for an entry to be eligible to win this Challenge, it must meet the following requirements:

    1. No ONC logo – The app must not use ONC’s logo or official seal in the Submission, and must not claim endorsement.
    2. Functionality/Accuracy – A Submission may be disqualified if the software application fails to function as expressed in the description provided by the user, or if the software application provides inaccurate or incomplete information.
    3. Security – Submissions must be free of malware. Contestant agrees that the ONC may conduct testing on the app to determine whether malware or other security threats may be present. ONC may disqualify the app if, in ONC’s judgment, the app may damage government or others’ equipment or operating environment.

    Review Criteria

    The ONC review panel will make selections based upon the following criteria:

    • Coverage: the more integrated components the better, with an emphasis on leverage existing work and capabilities of each component
    • Coupling: the level with which any integrated components can be removed without affecting the remaining component functionality
    • Performance: the lowest latency and best responsiveness of the component interactions as demonstrated by test cases
    • Elegance: how the design deals with both human and application agents that interact with different interfaces, and how each is managed across infrastructure components
    • Documentation: articulation of design using well known architecture artifacts and executable test cases
    • Engagement: willingness to participate in the community as a maintainer/committer after award

      Organizational Partners

      The General Services Administration and World Wide Web Consortium are submission review partners for this i2 challenge. Discuss with HHS on

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