Success for Single Sign-on! ... and onwards for EIS guru!
Sometimes we need to take a leap into the unknown. After much deliberation, soft market testing, reading and studying it is possible to still end up being unsure. What was it Donald Rumsfeld said about Known Unknowns and Unkonwn Unknowns .... ?
What are we trying to achieve? We want any Kent Learning Zone user to be able to access the online resources their school provides without having to have a different login for each, and to stop companies insecurely extracting lots of personal data from school MIS systems. Each time they have to remember their password, the resources get used less and less. The answer we were told was Shibboleth. Problem was (we were also told) that Service Providers didn't really support Federated Access. The software needed is Open Source and therefore community supported rather than something you buy.
Well, to coin a phrase, we ended up deciding to 'Just Do It', and the task was handed to EIS as a Plan-Do project. EIS has delivered the project in a couple of weeks (can't tell you what we'd been quoted externally!). The specialist technical expertise within EIS is impressive.
It works ... and works well! With a focus on primary
resources, we started testing with a couple of Service providers,
including J2e who offered access to their brilliant primary
applications. With EIS, we are going to offer KLZ schools and users access to the best free and subscription 'single sign-on online' resources. Following testing with a group of pilot schools (should be completed by December), we plan to start promoting the service from January.
Sadly though we are saying goodbye to Marc Turner this week. Marc led
the technical implementation of this service, and now heads of to even greater
things outside of KCC. I would like to say a personal thanks for his
help and expertise over the years and for doing an excellent job with