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A federation:

  • Is a group of organisations that share a common identity management infrastructure.
  • Exists to provide registration and governance to its constituent organisations.
  • Will usually require members to abide by a set of terms, conditions and best-practice guidelines.
  • Is split into Identity Providers  and Service Providers.

In most cases, federations manage the metadata which describes its members. Members are usually in similar sectors and geographical locations. For example, the UK Access Management federation serves the education sector in the UK and only accepts members which are either part of (or serve) that community.

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