Federated access management: JISC announces changes to transition arrangements

Posted on Tuesday, 22 January 2008

As part of its transition programme for federated access management for UK education and research, JISC has been actively seeking an extension to the Federation Gateway Services contract with Eduserv which would allow Athens to work in the open standards environment of the UK Access Management Federation. Regretfully, we must announce that we have not managed to reach an affordable agreement for the provision of the service, and it will no longer form part of the JISC Services portfolio from 1st August 2008.

Eduserv had asked JISC for a non-negotiable price for the provision of the Gateway Services significantly above what the JISC Board believed could be justified as a balanced or fair expenditure within the JISC services budget and as a value for money option for the education community as a whole.

The funding of the Federation Gateway Services has been part of a long history of collaboration between JISC and Eduserv, which has seen JISC fund the provision of and enhancements to Athens as well as the full costs of developing the Gateway Services. The cessation of funding for the Federation Gateway Services means that JISC can no longer guarantee the compliance of Athens products within the UK Access Management Federation.

JISC must now ask all institutions to review their access management strategy in the light of these developments.

JISC continues to be clear in its message to all institutions that they should join the UK Access Management Federation using SAML compliant technologies. Nearly 120 colleges and universities have already done so, drawn by the many benefits of the federated access approach, including greater flexibility and security. The schools sector is also adopting federated access management, part of an overarching vision for a single sign-on for the entire education and research community.

In addition, JISC believes that it is on target to see the majority of Service Providers join the Federation, and has already welcomed such providers as Elsevier, JSTOR, the BBC, Microsoft and the JISC Data Centres. These are developments mirrored across the world as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, 15 other European countries, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, adopt federated access approaches to the provision of resources. We are also working with our international partners to link federations to provide, in time, a common access management platform across participating countries as an integral part of our research and education networks.

In access management, as in all its activities, JISC is and remains committed to the interests of the sectors it serves, to innovation, value for money and compliance with open and international standards. As such, it remains committed to working with all institutions to ensure that they can fully engage in federated access management without the need or pressure to purchase any particular vendor product.

Any institution or organisation with concerns over these developments should contact the helpline: 0300 300 2212 or contact the JISC Access Management Team on: jisc-access-management@jiscmail.ac.uk.

For further information, please go to: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/federation

Edited by SteveGlover on 23 September 2013, at 08:42 AM (Permalink)