Thanks to SWITCHaai (Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure), university members can use their university login to access almost all national academic web offerings. Interfederation provides access to hundreds of services registered in one of the many other higher education identity federations worldwide.
SWITCH edu-ID leverages this infrastructure. It complements the university login with a lifelong and user-centric identity – for all people with a relationship to Swiss academia. It includes additional features such as quality information and change notifications and will allow access to non-web services.
SWITCH edu-ID – the way forward
SWITCH edu-ID will replace SWITCHaai. All the organisations in the SWITCH community that currently manage SWITCHaai identities are switching to the new solution with advantages.
Compatibility with SWITCHaai is guaranteed. Services available via SWITCHaai will be accessible with SWITCH edu-ID without additional effort. An organisational migration to SWITCH edu-ID needs careful planning. This step will provide opportunities to improve processes related to identity management such as registration and verification of identities.
SWITCHaai is a real success story. What began as an idea in 1999 and entered production service in 2005 soon became a national standard with widespread support among universities and related organisations. It has attracted a lot of interest internationally. More and more countries around the world have established similar infrastructures, and these are now connected via the interfederation service eduGAIN.
SWITCH started the Swiss edu-ID project in 2014 with the objective of developing the infrastructure further and making it future-proof. The first pilots started in 2015. As a result, the SWITCH edu-ID service is being launched in 2017, and organisations will be able to migrate starting in 2018.