The main issue with non-gateway compliant services is that they are
still using prefix checking to identify a user's home organisation as
part of the authorisation process.  Service providers are doing this by
extracting the first three characters of the username; AthensDA
'virtual' usernames were designed to include an organisational prefix
because that was the recommended method of identifying a user's home
organisation at the time.  However, Shibboleth handles do not have such
coding built into them, so when a service provider extracts the first
three characters, they do not get any sensible information from it.

AthensDA technology was developed to pass an Athens user's credentials
in exactly the same way as a classic Athens user, which is why there is
no difference in behaviour between these technologies.


Phil Leahy
Business Development Manager

Eduserv Athens 
access management 

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tel: +44 (0)1225 474333
fax: +44 (0)1225 474332 

Eduserv Athens is a service of Eduserv Technologies Limited 
-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion list for Shibboleth developments
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nicole Harris
Sent: 26 January 2006 18:39
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ATHENS] Shibboleth-Athens Gateway and Athens DA


I am forwarding your message to the shibboleth discussion list where
some of
the people who have already implemented the gateway procedures are more
likely to be lurking!  

I'm surprised to hear that more resources are AthensDA compliant than
gateway compliant as I thought the same non-compliancy issues would
both systems...would be interested to find out more!  

Community pressure on Westlaw *is* starting to make an impact, and they
starting to talk about implementing shibboleth at a much earlier date
previously suggested.  They are likely to go straight for
shibboleth-compliance rather than gateway compliance though...but this
should make very little difference for a shibbolised institution in the

Hope this helps


-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion list for Athens Administrators
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jonathan Hooper
Sent: 26 January 2006 10:27
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ATHENS] Shibboleth-Athens Gateway and Athens DA

We are currently looking at the Shibboleth-Athens Gateway in the hope of
going live in September 2006.

1. Please could I ask other sites who have done/are planning this: 
 - How do/will you manage ongoing Classic Athens accounts? - e.g.
do/will you still bulk upload? 
 - How do/will you get the cookie set in your users' browsers? e.g. two
possible approaches are MMU's who have a prominent link on the Library
home page, and Durham's who use the links in the catalogue to set cookie
then redirect to resource

2. It looks as if more resources are Athens DA compliant than are
Shib-Athens compliant - a particular problem for us is Westlaw. Have any
sites taken the decision to use Athens DA rather than Shib-Athens for
this reason?

3. Would anyone from other sites be prepared to discuss their
experiences more generally with us? If so, please could they get back to
me off-list?



Jonathan Hooper
Leeds University Library
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