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Bye-bye Cloud ID – Welcome SWITCH edu-ID

About 27,000 people have got mailing from the SWITCH edu-ID team April 19:
Instead of their former Cloud ID account, SWITCH edu-ID would be used as from 1st May  2017 in order to access the services SWITCHdrive and SWITCHengines.

But how should the vast majority of those users, who did not already have a SWITCH edu-ID account, come to such an identity?

Changeover without effort for 98% of users

The usual way to generate a SWITCH edu-ID account is self-registration – this in line with the principle of user centrism. However, in this case the new accounts were generated automatically in order to spare users effort.
Users who have linked their SWITCH edu-ID account with their existing AAI account(s) have substantially facilitated proper account assignment and account aggregation during conversion. Continue reading


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Partner event: EduID Mobile App Architecture meeting on 25 April 2017

The “digital transformation” has strong effects on how individuals interact with each other through the use of services – and it adds some challenges to the service operator’s agenda. One such challenge is to deploy consistent identity management across all the devices the “digitally transformed” user may choose from.

For over a decade, SWITCHaai streamlines the user’s (and also the service operator’s) experience by offering a consistent identity management framework across a wide range of web-application services. SWITCH edu-ID is extending this framework to reach beyond web-applications and to also seamlessly integrate with mobile apps.

The project Swiss edu-ID Mobile App (part of swissuniversities’ program “Scientific information”) aims at developing a novel approach to this challenge.

The eduhub Special Interest Group SIG Mobile Learning will discuss this approach and contrast it with other approaches. Interested app developers and service providers are encouraged to register for the event by answering this Doodle poll by 19 April the latest.


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New SWITCH Story “Leading the way in identity management”

Comfort or discomfort? In our increasingly user-centric world, this is a key success factor of basically any solution. Read more about the contribution of SWITCH edu-ID to the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) that will aim to harmonise the various types of data and information systems and make it possible to exchange data for research purposes.


Swiss edu-ID Update Event 2017

Save the date: Thursday 29 June 2017

The focus is put this year on an update about the project Swiss edu-ID and the service SWITCH edu-ID, whose deployment starts in 2017.
Note that no SWITCHaai specific topics are foreseen.

The event will take place June 29 , 11:00 – 16:15, in Berne at UniS, Schanzeneckstrasse 1, room A-126.

Preliminary Programme:

11:00 – 12:00   SWITCH edu-ID for beginners (for people not already familiar with SWITCH edu-ID)

12:00 – 13:15   Arrival for afternoon participants and Lunch
(afternoon participants are warmly welcome to take lunch with us)

13:15 – 14:30   Pilots and current project status

14:30 – 14:55  Coffee break

14:55 – 16:15    Status Migration Strategies, roadmap and next steps

16:15                 End of event


Project approval for “Swiss edu-ID Deployment Step 1”

Back in August 2016, SWITCH and seven partners (EPFL, FHNW, UNIFR, UNIGE, UNIL, UNISG and ZHAW) applied for project funding through in the framework of the P2/P5 programme of swissuniversities. Regular readers of our blog might remember, that we wrote about the submission and the nature of the proposal in the blog post Project for Deployment Step 1 in 2017 submitted which you are encouraged to re-read.

We are delighted to share with you the good news that this project received green light from the “Comité de pilotage du programme CUS P-2” at their meeting on 5 December 2016. This is good news for SWITCH and the university community as well as their stakeholders, as it marks the first of four “deployment steps” to implement the Swiss edu-ID roadmap until 2020.

This week, we received the formal approval letter annexed with an assessment note and additional obligations, which mean some additional homework for SWITCH (clarifications, reporting and project management obligations, as well as accommodating a cut in overall spending). Another good news for our project partners: these obligations are not impacting our partners’ work packages nor do they affect the support they receive from SWITCH.

We are looking forward to start the process of entering the deployment phase of the Swiss edu-ID roadmap and rolling out the SWITCH edu-ID service until 2020.


Advanced Access Management with SWITCH edu-ID

The SWITCH aai identity federation is based on one important concept: The separation of identity management (IdM) and access management (AM). Identity providers are trusted sources of a set of well defined attributes. For each user trying to access a service, the service itself decides based on his/her attributes if access to the service is granted or denied.

shared-attributes-basic

The identity provider in its purest form only manages general user information like name, age, email address, membership status at a university etc. This information is general and not specific to services. The service specific part is the way how attribute information can be combined by a service to build complex access rules like: “This service accepts math students and staff members”.

What if a group of services needs to share additional information about a user that is not part of the standard attribute set? For this case SWITCH has developed the shared attribute service for the edu-ID.

shared-attributes-extension

The shared attribute service consists of a database where additional attributes can be stored for each SWITCH edu-ID user. The contents of this database are not managed by the SWITCH edu-ID Identity Provider. Some external entities can access to the shared attributes database via an API, and set or delete attribute values for selected edu-ID users. When a user accesses to a service provider the shared attribute for that user is added to the standard attributes and sent to the service.

What effectively happens with shared attributes is that one part of AM (the part that is common to a group of services) is extracted from the services and centralized

First application: National Licences

The first application to use shared attributes is the National Licenses service. In the context of the national licenses some publishers grant access to users who satisfy a complex access rule. The user has to be a Swiss citizen, has to accept specific terms, must have been active during the last year and must not be blocked due to service abuse.

shared-attributes-natlic

A specially developed national licenses service registration platform checks if a user meets all the requirements of a user. If the user does meet the requirements, the flag national-license-compliant is set in the shared attributes database for that user. Consequently, services participating in the national licenses program get the additional attribute and grant access to licensed publications.

If a user does not meet all requirements, the national-license-compliant flag is removed. The user gets an explanation on the registration service and some indications how he or she could re-gain access to the national licenses program.

Note: The shared attributes service has been developed by SWITCH to solve a specific problem and to gain experiences with the concept. It is possible that the service will be replaced in the future by a more general group management service.