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Internet2 Universities Address Trust and Identity in New Release

Internet2 released a new set of software programs and best practices for bolstering trust and identity in education and research (TIER) on campuses. Internet2 is a community of organizations, including 282 colleges and universities in the United States, that collaborate on innovation in technology.

This first release of TIER includes three open source components and application programming interfaces to help campuses address identity and access management and simplify the process of supporting intra- and inter-institutional collaboration and research. In addition to the software, the community has collaborated on development of "practice sets" for ensuring interoperability, usability and cross-organizational trust and security.

TIER Release 1 includes these programs:

  • Grouper, which handles groups and access management across applications and tracks information such as campus affiliations or roles;
  • Shibboleth Identity Provider, to provide single sign-on capabilities and allow sites to make informed authorization decisions for the individual access of protected online resources; and
  • COmanage Registry, which lets collaborative groups streamline and manage the identity-oriented requirements of collaboration tools.

"The ultimate goal of TIER is the integration of community-developed open-source trust and identity software components into a manageable and complete identity and access management suite, supported by common campus practices," said Kevin Morooney, vice president of trust and identity services at Internet2. "The community has come together to develop these principles and solutions, proving that we can and will flourish by developing and sustaining best practices as it relates to identity management."

The TIER work has been sustained by funding provided by 49 campuses, from Arizona State University to Washington University in Saint Louis.

"The work we are doing together on TIER may be the most important work we have done as a community in the last 10 years," added Ron Kraemer, CIO at the University of Notre Dame. "I believe we are making an investment in our future that has the potential to transform service delivery across higher education."

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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