Yesterday and today (and indeed two days next week) I’m speaking at a series of OpenAthens Seminars called ‘work smarter, not harder’. There is a focus at the event on OpenAthens and federated access as a shared service – which is timely given the recent announcements from JISC on Shared Services and the JISC Advance focus on this as one of its key objectives.
I’m talking about ‘the problem with federations’. It may seem strange that the person who introduced the federation in the UK to talk about them as a ‘problem’, but very few people really understand the purpose of the federation in the access management flow – I’m here to try and make it a bit clearer!
My slides are here – although they may not make that much sense without the actual talk to go with it I’m afraid!
Some of the takeaways from day one:
- The word ‘bonkers’ came up a lot! One of the core points made was that it simply didn’t make sense in the current environment to use the ‘managed directory’ approach in the current environment (except as a tool for managing not standard users) as the overhead of managing accounts was seen as high compared with local authentication. I’m not sure that this is completely true for smaller institutions, but I would certainly agree with this point for most universities.
- Eduserv are looking at introducing a proxy solution as part of the OpenAthens suite – certainly something that will be worth tracking
- The new stats tool in the OpenAthens admin area were described as ‘funky’ – and I have to agree. I’m really pleased that Eduserv and Cardiff have been talking about stats and the RAPTOR project in this area.
- Andy gave a great presentation on the current state of discovery – I will link to it when the slides are up but I really encourage you to have a look.
More to come as the events progress!