In an interview about the international ELIXIR project, we learn how research works across national borders. Read in the latest SWITCH Story by Tommi Nyrönen of ELIXIR Finland how eduGAIN is supporting pan-European research projects.
The Swiss edu-ID project management is happy to announce that we received the approval for the Phase 2 project by swissuniversities (CUS P-2 program) ! The corresponding proposal was submitted in February 2015.
Main goals of Phase 2 (Aug. 2015 – Dec. 2016) are:
- successful operation of Swiss edu-ID v1.0 and its use cases from phase 1
- implementation of the Swiss edu-ID v2.0 service with new features
- connect the Swiss edu-ID platform to institutions (enabling of attribute exchange with Attribute Authorities operated by universities)
- support for authentication protocols beyond SAML allowing access to non-web resources
- continuation of community involvement (working groups, events)
New national services being developed within the frame of the CUS P-2 project will in almost all cases require reliable identity and access management (IAM). The Swiss edu-ID addresses that need, by providing a comprehensive IAM service framework to all relevant players: universities, individuals and service providers.
The SWITCHaai is a well-established IAM solution for the Swiss universities that places identity management under the responsibility of the participating universities and allows for effective resource sharing across organisational borders. However, this approach has several drawbacks:
- University members with multiple roles or jobs are assigned multiple electronic identities, which need to be managed individually.
- Individuals lose their electronic identity when they change role or affiliation and are unable to recover the same identity if it is needed at a later date.
- Individuals collaborating with universities, but without a strong affiliation with one of those universities are not issued such an organisation-centric identity. Almost all resources need to manage this potentially large user group without SWITCHaai support.
- The existing SWITCHaai service is not perceived to support mobile and other non-web environments adequately.
The Swiss edu-ID is addressing those shortcomings. It does it by building on the very successful SWITCHaai, but changing/extending it in several ways. In the predecessor project “Swiss edu-ID” the basis for a successful continuation was set by completing the Swiss edu-ID high-level architecture, by implementing Swiss edu-ID V0.5 with a new set attributes, and by conducting a market overview of access management platforms. The first important change is delivered by the Swiss edu-ID v1.0 service:
- All individuals collaborating with our community can get a Swiss edu-ID identity, regardless of whether a user is currently affiliated with an organisation in our community or not.
The project „Swiss edu-ID Phase II“ described in this proposal will implement the Swiss edu-ID v2.0 service with those two additional features:
- The Swiss edu-ID will carry up to date information about roles and affiliations within the academic community. This information will be provided by those member organisations themselves.
- The Swiss edu-ID will support the most promising protocols for mobile integration.
Services wishing to make use of the functions offered by the “Swiss edu-ID” will receive consultancy services from the project, get access to the Swiss edu-ID service and the project will seek ways to support use cases needing adaptations or extensions to the existing services. Specific integration work at the user side, however, is not within scope and should be provided by the respective user service. Project management will take appropriate steps to evaluate requests for functional extensions within the governance structures.