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SWITCHaai: CERN joins AAI Federation

CERN is now using SWITCHaai to simplify access to online services. SWITCH's standardised authentication process allows certain CERN members of personnel to use the online services of affiliated research institutions and universities more easily. The Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI) connects researchers around the world with a single login.

Published on 12.06.2014

The AAI login is available at almost all Swiss universities. It has clearly enhanced Switzerland's standing as a research location by improving process efficiency. CERN recently signed an agreement with SWITCH this month to use SWITCHaai. "International collaboration plays an essential role in our scientific activities," says Frédéric Hemmer, head of CERN IT department. "Joining the SWITCHaai federation is an important step as our community will be able to connect in an easier way to our services and resources thanks to the use of a single set of access credentials."

A single login for global access

The cooperation with SWITCH links the world-leading research centre's employees up to eduGAIN, the interfederation service provided as part of the pan-European GÉANT project. This means that CERN collaborators all over the world can access CERN's online services using their home institution's login account. In addition, certain CERN members of personnel can access selected services provided by other institutions via the national AAI federations participating in eduGAIN. "SWITCH is convinced that federated identity is highly beneficial to the sort of large-scale scientific collaborations and projects that have been typical in particle physics over the past decades," says Christoph Witzig, Head of Central ICT Providers, the SWITCH unit responsible for identification services in the Swiss higher education sector. "SWITCH is delighted by CERN's decision to join the SWITCHaai Federation and looks forward to working with it in this area."

SWITCHaai: straightforward and efficient

All members of the AAI Federation, including major universities, universities of applied sciences and other educational institutions, use the same standard to validate access to their password-protected services and resources. With a single user name and password, the institution's AAI login, users can access a range of e-learning systems and web applications provided by all participating universities in Switzerland. This reduces the administrative workload for the universities and enables them to make their teaching content available to a broader academic audience. Similar infrastructures are being developed around the world.

About SWITCHaai

SWITCH service giving university members access to various e-learning systems and web applications provided by all participating universities in Switzerland using a single user name and login belonging to their university. Some 390,000 users at 55 participating institutions can use more than 770 services registered with SWITCHaai.