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New York U Grants Single Sign-on Portal Access with Ping App

A school at New York University has adopted a pair of Web-based applications to help business students collaborate on projects and access applications. The Stern School of Business has begun using Socialtext for social collaboration and a program from Ping Identity to manage sign-on and access for the Socialtext service and other programs.

The business school has 6,000 students and staff members. IT chose Socialtext to provide those users with the capabilities to set up groups, share documents, maintain wikis, do microblogging, communicate via mobile device, and perform other collaboration activities. IT chose PingFederate for internal single sign-on across that school's specialized applications. Single sign-on allows a user to log onto multiple applications by entering just one user name and password.

"We were genuinely surprised. We were not expecting it to be so easy," said Stern CIO, Anand Padmanabhan, referring to the implementation of PingFederate. The IT organization had evaluated another single sign-on product, which by itself would require an eight-month implementation process. PingFederate took two days to set up.

"PingFederate could easily integrate with the legacy, current and future apps that we had in mind, and our growth vision will not be bottlenecked by it," Padmanabhan said. "It was very secure--a critical piece for us. And Ping Identity's proof of concept sealed the deal."

According to Gary Chapman, senior IT architect for .edu services in IT Services at the university, the institution uses a combination of Oracle's OpenSSO and the Internet2-developed Shibboleth technology for its central login service. "Because all these tools share support of protocols such as SAML, it has been possible for us to work together on federated login between Ping and OpenSSO," he explained. "This will enable seamless access to applications offered by ITS to the Stern community--an excellent example of internal federation, it seems to me!"

SAML, Security Assertion Markup Language, is an XML standard for exchanging authorization and authentication data between security domains.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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