Posted Date: February 23, 2012

Author:  Pamela Eliadis, Service Director, System Operations & Aid Delivery Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: SAIG Upgrade - System and Software Product Enhancements Available March 5, 2012 (Updated March 15, 2012)

Note: On March 9, 2012 EDconnect 8.1 was posted to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site. EDconnect 8.1 replaces the previous version of the software, EDconnect 8.0, and must be used by all EDconnect users. Refer to the March 15, 2012 electronic announcement for further information.

As explained in a February 10, 2012 Electronic Announcement on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, we are in the process of implementing an upgrade to all components of the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG), including TDClient, TDCommunity Manager (SAIG Portal), and the EDconnect software. The upgrade to the SAIG is related to our ongoing effort to comply with mandated government-wide security requirements, and to ensure the security of the Federal Student Aid data systems.

We are pleased to announce that on March 5, 2012, we will release an upgraded solution that will implement enhancements to all SAIG components, including posting new versions of TDClient and EDconnect to the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site.

Important Note: All schools that use TDClient or EDconnect to connect to the SAIG will be required to download and begin using the upgraded software product by May 27, 2012. Furthermore, all EDconnect users must also be enrolled for the new EDconnect Entitlement service and have an FSA User ID and password to access and use the new software. For complete information about enrolling for the EDconnect Entitlement service and obtaining an FSA User ID, please see the February 10, 2012 announcement.

In this announcement, we provide information related to the system enhancements that will be included in the March 5, 2012 release, including the following:

  • EDconnect Enhancements

  • TDClient Enhancements

  • TDCommunity Manager (SAIG Portal) Enhancements

We appreciate the assistance of all SAIG users as we complete the implementation of these important security enhancements.

EDconnect Enhancements

The following updates will be included in the March 5, 2012 release of EDconnect 8.0:

  • All EDconnect users are required to upgrade to EDconnect 8.0 by May 27, 2012. After this date, users will no longer be able to connect to their SAIG Mailbox(es) using the previous versions of EDconnect. This change is to ensure compliance with the government-mandated Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules (FIPS140-2) standard, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

  • All EDconnect 8.0 users must be enrolled in the new EDconnect Entitlement service before they will be able to use the upgraded software. Refer to the February 10, 2012 announcement for detailed instructions on completing this process.

  • EDconnect 8.0 requires users to log in using an FSA User ID rather than a local user name. This change is part of the process to bring EDconnect behind Federal Student Aid’s Access and Identity Management System (AIMS) and is another step toward our goal of providing a “single sign-on” process for users of multiple systems. Through AIMS, authorized users are able to log in once to access multiple Federal Student Aid systems rather than needing to log in multiple times using various authentication methods. Refer to the February 10, 2012 announcement for detailed instructions on completing the FSA User ID registration process.

  • The installation of EDconnect 8.0 requires that the software administrator add each user's FSA User ID to the software and associate it with the user's profile. After this step has been completed, the user will be able to access and use the new version of the software. Complete instructions for installing the software will be described in the user documentation that will be posted with the software on March 5, 2012 on the FSAdownload Web site.

  • EDconnect 8.0 includes functionality to support Two Factor Authentication (TFA), a security initiative described in a January 13, 2012 announcement. Through TFA, when logging in to EDconnect, an authorized user will be required to enter their FSA User ID and password as well as provide a One-Time Password (OTP). The OTP will be generated by a registered token device that is in the physical possession of the user. We are in the process of a phased distribution of tokens and token information to schools and will communicate directly with the Primary Destination Point Administrator (PDPA) at each school regarding required use of the tokens.

  • EDconnect 8.0 requires that a user be connected to the Internet prior to logging in.

  • EDconnect 8.0 allows connections to Federal Student Aid servers only. This change will have no impact on users of EDconnect.

  • Windows 7 is a supported platform for EDconnect 8.0.

  • The EDconnect Install Guide, Desk Reference, and Error Codes documents have been consolidated into one master document called the EDconnect Installation and User Guide. This document consolidates the information previously found in the three separate documents and has been updated to incorporate the changes and enhancements described in this announcement. The EDconnect Installation and User Guide will be available for download from the FSAdownload Web site on March 5, 2012.

For a complete description of all enhancements included in EDconnect 8.0, refer to the Cover Letter and the EDconnect Installation and User Guide, available with the software on the FSAdownload Web site on March 5, 2012.

TDClient Enhancements

The following updates will be included in the March 5, 2012 release of TDClient 3.2:

  • All TDClient users are required to upgrade to TDClient 3.2 by May 27, 2012. After this date, users will no longer be able to connect to their SAIG Mailbox(es) using the previous versions of TDClient. This change is to ensure compliance with the government-mandated Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules (FIPS140-2) standard, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

  • TDClient 3.2 allows connections to Federal Student Aid servers only. This change will have no impact on users of TDClient.

  • Linux is a supported platform for TDClient 3.2.

Note: TDClient is not being modified to support TFA functionality.

TDCommunity Manager (SAIG Portal) Enhancements

TDCommunity Manager (SAIG Portal) will be updated to be compliant with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security directive that requires a security banner to be presented to all administrator users. The new banner will be provided to all administrators immediately after they log in. This banner will require administrators to agree to the government policies regarding use of a government system. Non-administrator users will not be impacted by this change.

In addition, the search functionality for the Messages and Archive views in SAIG Portal has been enhanced.

Contact Information

Again, we appreciate the assistance of all SAIG users as we complete these important updates.

If you have questions about this information, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

   

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