It is possible to devolve the username and password part of OpenAthens MD to a SAML-based local authentication system. From the users' perspective they will not need to remember additional OpenAthens credentials, instead using existing ones such as their network login. From an administrator's perspective you would not need to create or manage additional accounts as this is already being handled within your organisation.

Examples of local authentication systems include:

  • ActiveDirectory
  • AD FS (Active Directory Federation Server)
  • IBM Tivoli
  • LDAP
  • NetIQ Access Manager
  • Novell Access Manager
  • OpenAthens LA
  • Ping Federate

How do my local authentication system and OpenAthens work together?

OpenAthens still takes care of things like the access to resources, federations, permission set management and statistics - these remain under the control of the library - but the usernames and passwords are handed off to your local system where your IT team is already managing user accounts.

Permission set considerations

You should think about your existing subscriptions and decide whether all users should inherit your default permission set, or if you need to allocate specific permission sets to different groups of users. If you need to allocate specific permission sets you will need to release an additional attribute containing that permission set name. Permission set names appear in the following format: 

 <organisation prefix>#<name> e.g. edu#staff

User journey when local authentication system is integrated with OpenAthens

The diagram below shows the basic user journey to a resource both with and without a local authentication system being integrated:

Specific systems