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How to interact with OpenAthens IdPs

If you are in other federations, then the best way to think about IdPs in the OpenAthens federation is... just like any other IdP in any of those other SAML federations. They will interact with you in the same way and as long as you are complying with the standards you should not need to make any changes to your implementation to support them or join our federation. You should not need to do anything special specifically for them.

There are some small differences that you may find it useful to be aware of, but nothing that will change the basic tenet and all are beneficial to you:

  • All OpenAthens IdPs:
    • use the same software in the same, standards compliant, way thanks to the shared platform.
    • support SAML 2 and encryption.
    • can easily release role and entitlement attributes if that is useful to your service (e.g. where staff and student would have access to different content, or a subscription had to be limited to a department).
    • can release non-standard attributes where appropriate.

The IdPs can have several ways of signing into OpenAthens such as LDAP, ADFS or OpenAthens accounts (some even use a combination) but none of that affects the interaction between their SAML IdP (us) and the SAML SP (you).

Like any IdPs they will be keen to use WAYFLess URLs with your service and (where possible) also use article level links. OpenAthens federation enhances those two capabilities where present by providing a way to use them behind a consistent link format that simplifies setup and works with link resolvers without the need to resort to proxy servers. 

See also:

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