In December 2020, the Swiss Library Service PlatformSLSP goes live after six years of preparation.
From then on, library users will use their SWITCH edu-ID account to register with their research libraries and catalogues. This is expected to affect between 0.5 and 1 million users – especially all Swiss university members.
“In today’s knowledge society, unrestricted and timely access to scientific information is of great importance. By guaranteeing access to diverse information resources, academic libraries play a central role in research and teaching at universities, but also in the lifelong learning of the population. SLSP sees itself as a service provider for all academic libraries and contributes to establishing a seamless flow of information for the knowledge society”.
SWITCH invites you on Wed, 20 May 2020 to the 3rd Trust & Identity WG Meeting combined with the SWITCH edu-ID Update Event in Berne – or if the specific situation persists online instead.
Registration is open until Friday, 8 May 2020 and required for logistical reasons.
Refer to the registration page for the preliminary schedule and meeting topics.
In case of presence we have foreseen to hold the program between 10:15 and 15:40.
If the event must take place online, we will shorten the program and run from 9-12, including a break.
The event is aimed at the following target groups: IdP and SP Administrators, Home Org Administrators, RRA & Attribute Policy Administrators, IdP hosting customers and IT staff with interest in Microsoft / Office 365 for both – Swiss universities that still use SWITCHaai and those that have already switched over to SWITCH edu-ID.
Right at the start of the year on 8 January 2020, the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) switched over to SWITCH edu-ID.
Smooth changeover thanks to good preparation and a high ‘linking’ success rate
Technically, everything was threaded perfectly and the changeover of the IdP went off without a hitch. After initialization and planning in 2018, the work could be started at the beginning of 2019 with the development of the connector, followed by the setup of the linking service and the migration of the IdP. The fact that everything went so smoothly was partly due to the fact that a large number of users had linked their accounts in time for the migration:
The communication measures were very successful with all target groups.
These consisted of a post in the Rectorate newsletter, a poster at the helpdesk, multiple e-mails sent to people without a linked account (maximum of three follow-ups and a final e-mail to users of the three most frequently used services), a message in the Rectorate newsletter shortly before the changeover, and detailed instructions on how to create and link the edu-ID account. E-mails were sent to the different groups of people in astaggered manner. This meant that support before and after the changeover to SWITCH edu-ID was uncomplicated and that the work involved was predictable and manageable.
The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is using SWITCH edu-ID as replacement for the former AAI accounts and IdP since October 18. With currently around 20,000 persons with ZHAW affiliation, it is the largest university to date to use edu-ID.
Planning and reality
The ZHAW is one of the “Early Bird” universities that have already started planning the transition in 2017. The ZHAW coined the term “script cemetery” – a term for IdM processes that are based on many scripts difficult to maintain. The university therefore decided to replace its existing IdM. The edu-ID planning was part of this redesign project. Right from the start, the project manager succeeded in bringing all relevant stakeholders together at one table and also involving the departments where necessary, so that the migration plan was available in February 2018. Continue reading “ZHAW has switched to edu-ID – with around 20,000 people!”
On July 17 2019, the University of St. Gallen and SWITCH have flipped the switch.
From now on, members of the university will use SWITCH edu-ID accounts to access federated services. Armin Schibli, Thomas Köppel and Thomas Mesaros drove the project forward and ensured the successful implementation in St. Gallen.
One of the early birds
The University of St Gallen was one of the first planning phase participants in 2017 and therefore, ready to start planning at a time when not all components of the SWITCH edu-ID service were available and no clear paths for adoption had been defined.
Nevertheless, the IT team was ready to accept the challenge and held intensive discussions with SWITCH and the local stakeholders to find the best suitable way to adopt SWITCH edu-ID. The result was what we internally call “the St. Galler model”.
FHNW e-media offering for teachers uses Shared Attribute API
In principle open
Openness is one of the promises made by SWITCH edu-ID. In recent years, universities have increasingly opened up to additional user groups such as continuing education students or MOOC participants. Cooperation with external parties is becoming increasingly important overall, be it with other universities, research institutions or partners from the private sector. Academic institutions are expanding their offerings, and not every person who makes use of university services has to become an official member of the university.
But that’s why you let everyone in?
However, most service providers do not simply want to blindly trust a self-declared identity that users bring with them (i.e. a “naked” edu-ID).
There are many reasons why one wants to protect applications and content from unauthorized access, e.g. to prevent data theft or manipulation or to comply with data protection or license regulations. And if abuse has taken place despite all precautions, one wants to be able to find out who one can hold liable for damages. Of course, this can be difficult with unchecked identities, even if the majority of users behave correctly and have provided the correct personal data for their digital identity. So is this a reason not to trust edu-ID identities? Continue reading “NOT for university members only”
SWITCH invites you on Wed, 15 May 2019 to the 2nd Trust & Identity WG Meeting combined with the SWITCH edu-ID Update Event in Berne.
Registration is open until Tue, 7. May 2019 and required for logistical reasons.
Refer to the registration page for the draft agenda and schedule.
A longer section of the event is dedicated to SWITCH edu-ID. The heads of IT of University of Lucerne and Distance University will talk about their adoption experience.
Administrators of either an Identity Provider or Service Provider registered in SWITCHaai as well as the SWITCHpki registration authority operators and all persons involved in (future) planning and adoption of SWITCH edu-ID are invited to participate.
On 6 March 2019, Distance University became the second university to switch to SWITCH edu-ID for authentication and access to its services. Here is an extract from their experience:
IT as a driving force
The project was primarily carried out by the IT department – supported by Marketing. All information had to be written in German and French. Student managers, who act as the first contact persons for teachers and students, were trained in advance by IT.
It took about 1.5 years from the initial discussions with SWITCH to the completion of the project. Distance University IT spent in total one man-month developing and testing the technical implementation. In addition, project management and communication were particularly time-consuming.
In August we’ve submitted our last project application for Swiss edu-ID – the Deployment Steps 3 & 4 – to swissuniversities. Intended is a two-year project during 2019 and 2020 that contains just as before two parts:
further development of features (functional extensions) and
planning and adoption activities of universities (deployment).
In order to allow non-bureaucratic and more agile handling especially for the planning phases, universities can now requests for third-party funding twice a year and therefore can become much easier a project partner and start funded activities.
If third-party funding would be beneficial to your university, please consider to submit a sub-project on the following dates:
30.11.18 (project start January 2019)
31.5.2019 (project start July 2019)
30.11.2019 (project start January 2020)
31.3.2020 (if there is still funding available; project start May 2020)
Only a few days remain for the registration for this year’s Swiss edu-ID Update Event, June 27 in Berne.
Besides general project status we will inform you about the next (and last) project submission and the concrete concepts which are now being pursued for the Microsoft integration.
Project for Deployment Step 2 in 2018/19 submitted
Within this next project phase – once approved by swissuniversities – the first three universities will implement SWITCH edu-ID:
Université de Lausanne
Universität St. Gallen
Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften.
They’ve developed their individual integration plan during 2017 (Deployment Step 1). As the other four participating universities they have considerably contributed to elaborate and sharpen adoption scenarios for linking of new and current members and for managing affiliations.
Eleven universities will start implementation planning: Berner Fachhochschule, FernUni, Fachhochschule St. Gallen, Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale, Hochschule Luzern, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Chur (HTW Chur), Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich, Pädagogische Hochschule Bern, Pädagogische Hochschule Schwyz (PHSZ), Université de Neuchâtel and Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.
Is one password for everything the right way? Could E-ID be a suitable solution to facilitate users life? Christoph Graf discusses such questions and explains how SWITCH edu-ID fits in the ID landscape and what our expectations about E-ID would be. Read more (in German)
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 “Bye-bye Cloud ID – Welcome SWITCH edu-ID”