The Gateway is either in a "pilot phase" or it's "in production" (quoting successive messages both from yourself). If the "production" status is "purely technical", from what perspective(s) is it *not* ready for production use?
I believe JISC have commissioned the Gateway as a transitional tool, so what do they think?
It's probably unsafe to work on the basis that "until all resources are compatible with the gateway we are not going to have a system which will work for all users, for all resources". It's unlikely that *all* the resources of use to *all* users (in the academic community served by JISC) will work with the Gateway, or with Shibboleth directly, for a *long* time. So a strategy based on waiting for this to happen would be a foolish one.
Academic libraries (the direct customers in this case, representing their users) strive to provide what users need for learning, teaching and research, within the constraints of their budgets.
LSE has licensed access to a number of resources that have never been accessible via Athens - but we haven't waited to give them to users until they were!
The position we've taken to make AM as easy as possible for users is to assume a gradual (we don't know how long) convergence on use of Shibboleth, and to tell users that the 'default' is to use their LSE network credentials for access (this covers Shib and Gateway -compatible resources, and those accessed via our EZ-Proxy server), and to flag those with other AM methods in our e-library directory. We give users a secure (access by LSE network credentials) personal page in our campus portal which lists the other usernames/passwords they need, for each 'minority' AM method.
See you next week, where I'm sure we can continue this over a pint or two!
From: Discussion list for Shibboleth developments on behalf of David Orrell
Sent: Fri 11/11/05 15:58
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [JISC-SHIBBOLETH] Athens gateway testing
On Friday 11 November 2005 15:00, Jon Warbrick wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Nov 2005, David Orrell wrote:
> > Believe me, we are aware of these issues, but do still view this as a
> > pilot phase, where we are expecting to encounter these sort of issues.
> Please forgive my ignorance, but is there a published timetable for when
> the gateway will leave its pilot phase and be ready for production use?
> If so, where? If not, when can we expect this to happen?
The gateway is, from a purely technical perspective, in production. However,
the issues we're seeing are again due to to the fact we're in transition.
This is why I see it more as a pilot. Some of these issues we can address by
fixing the page flow and wording of the user interfaces, which is where we're
dependent on the sort of feedback we're receiving. However, until all
resources are compatible with the gateway we are not going to have a system
which will work for all users, for all resources, as a 'drop-in' replacement
for classic Athens. We went through exactly the same transition phase for
AthensDA a few years ago, and are now eventually in this position.