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Unifying the LIR Portal and RIPE Database User Experience

Alex Band — 10 Jul 2017
Over the years, the core services of the RIPE NCC, such as the LIR Portal and RIPE Database, have seen many changes. We are now going to unify the interfaces.

 

When the LIR Portal was originally built, it was a completely isolated part of the RIPE NCC website, which only catered to members. It had its own user interface, navigation and authentication system. Today, the LIR Portal is very different. It also offers services such as RPKI to Provider Independent End Users and Legacy holders, it has RIPE NCC Access as a common authentication system and the user interface is completely integrated with the rest of the RIPE NCC website.

 

The LIR Portal with its own style, authentication and navigation in 2011

 

The LIR Portal today, seamlessly integrated in the RIPE NCC website

 

During this time, the RIPE Database has undergone a similar metamorphosis. Where CRYPT-PW and MD5 were common many years ago, RIPE NCC Access is currently on more than 30,000 maintainers that are actively used, making authentication seamless throughout all RIPE NCC services. The user interface has adopted the look and feel of the rest of the website, and instead of being a raw database that serves objects in key-value pairs and expects updates in a similar fashion, the experience today is focused a lot more on insight and resource management, as you can see in My Resources.

 

RIPE Database authorisation before the introduction of RIPE NCC Access

 

The RIPE Database today, with a common look and feel and using single sign-on (SSO) to authenticate

 

Both these developments have slowly blurred the lines between the two services, making usage somewhat counterintuitive at times. For example, users are expected to set their 'Default Maintainer' in the LIR Portal, so they can update their allocation object in the RIPE Database. In a similar fashion, PI End Users are expected to update a specific maintainer in the RIPE Database so they can use RPKI in the LIR Portal.

The latest development is the introduction of My Resources in the RIPE Database, which completely eclipses the same functionality in the LIR Portal. You can expect this trend to continue. For example, the management of route objects in the RIPE Database will adopt the same user-friendly interface that is available for RPKI in the LIR Portal.

This is why we are planning to unify the LIR Portal and RIPE Database user experience, allowing us to move forward with a more intuitive and logical interface. With this step we can cater to any resource holder, whether they are a RIPE NCC member or not. In addition, we will make all navigation contextual based on the organisation that the user represents and the permissions they have (e.g. admin, regular, billing).

If you are logged in on the RIPE NCC website, you'll simply find everything you need in the "Manage IPs and ASNs" section, such as requesting resources, initiating a transfer or updating the RIPE Database. 

We expect to switch over to the new menu structure a few weeks from now. If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to let us know!

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