Could I ask how much thought has been given to the procedures (specifically for data service providers) for allowing access via the Athens-to-Shibboleth gateway ? I am being asked about the gateway by suppliers with whom we have a working relationship, and at present I find the situation confusing.
It's likely that from some as-yet undetermined date after July 2006, MIMAS and Edina, and some commercial data suppliers, will have some (or even all) data resources which can only be accessed via Shibboleth authentication, and not directly via Athens. Users from institutions who have not yet implemented a Shibboleth origin will be expected to access these resources via the Athens-to-Shibboleth gateway.
The Eduserv documentation at http://www.athensams.net/federations/ implies that such data suppliers will have to join the Athens UK Federation (or Touchstone for testing) to allow access via the Athens-to-Shib gateway, which is to be available "towards the end of 2005". They will have to allow for users from both this federation and from the JISC Sparta federation. Is this how things are seen from the JISC side ? What attempts are being made to harmonise attributes between these federations ? I am sure there are also other issues that need resolving in order to facilitate this use scenario.
Manager, Bibliographic & Scientific Services,
The University of Manchester.
+44 161 275 6065
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