Barriers for Service Providers

Couldn’t think up a snappy title today, must be experiencing brain rot!

As part of my work for REFEDS, I am compiling a report on some of the major barriers for service providers when it comes to joining federations. It is still very much a work in progress (mostly because i have yet to empty a load of stuff out of my brain and on to paper) but the summary to-date can be found here and i’d really appreciate input.

At the moment the report identifies 7 major barriers:

  • Multiple registration of entity information
  • Multiple legal documentation
  • One-off clauses
  • Data protection information
  • Sponsorship letters
  • Fees
  • Software compatibility

I’d be very interested in additions to that list??

1 thought on “Barriers for Service Providers

  1. Phil Leahy


    The single biggest barrier to adoption that was regularly reported to Eduserv by SPs was waiting for a sufficient number of their clients to express a firm commitment in order to justify the cost of the work. The form letters sent out by some UK IdPs were often seen as scare tactics, which reduced the credibility of some IdPs where they hadn’t yet adopted the federated access management technology they were encouraging SPs to adopt.

    It’s not clear from the wiki how SP fees can be a barrier to adoption if they are routinely passed on to IdPs, although it seems likely that this is just one cost that is passed on to IdPs, along with the cost of paper clips, cleaning services and the overhead of implementing a SAML-compliant solution.

    From a UK perspective, one other barrier is the seemingly widespread perception that in order to achieve compliance, an SP has to get familiar with the code, but some SPs simply aren’t interested in doing that. Eduserv don’t expect (or want) other people to sell our products for us, but the absence of references to the fact that off-the-shelf products are available to help SPs achieve compliance does seem to support the view that how an SP does it is at least as important as the fact they are doing it at all. Making it clearer that the requirement for joining a federation is adherence to a technical standard rather than adoption of a particular software solution, and that there are multiple ways of achieving that, would help lower that particular barrier.

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