August 2017 brings with it a change to introduce the best provision of a Single Sign On we’ve ever achieved at the University. This change will improve the day-to-day IT experience of all students and staff, perhaps without them even noticing it…
What does that mean?
Right now we authenticate some of your resources via Shibboleth and some via Azure.
Azure authenticated resources include:
- Office 365
- My Dundee
When you open a browser and go to one of these, you’re presented with this login screen:
If you then go to another of the resources listed above, you’ll be signed in automatically.
Shibboleth is used to protect many resources, with the top 10 accessed this year being:
- Science Direct
- Solcara Legal Search
- Talis Aspire Reading Lists
When you go to a Shibboleth protected resource, you’re presented with this login screen:
If you then go to another Shibboleth protected resource, you’ll get signed in automatically.
The problem is Azure and Shibboleth don’t talk to each other, which means there is no Single Sign On between them. A common example of what this results in is:
You sign into your online email (webmail) to check your inbox. Someone you know has included a box link in the email they’ve sent to you, so you click on it to view the document. When you do so, you have to sign in again to get to the file.
This is not a great user experience and we needed to improve that.
What will it do?
When we go live with the change that second login will not be required. A single initial login to either an Azure or Shibboleth protected resource will be all that’s required for you to access all of these resources on the web.
The confusion caused by there being two different login experiences will be gone and you will only ever see the Azure login page.
What are the benefits?
- You will have a much better user experience.
- The University will have a fully managed, supported and maintained service.
- This service will always be running the most up-to-date, secure versions.
- We will no longer be reliant on only two people being on site should a problem occur as our provider will be available to deal with any issues.
- Our provider will also give us a web based reporting tool, which will allow us to analyse what resources are being utilised. This will give a better indication of the value of resources and help us to find cost savings.
- Staff uptake of the new self-service password reset tool, which can only be set up and used in at the new login page, will improve because they will be presented with it more often. This will further reduce the number of password reset calls we receive and help staff get back to work quickly should they forget their passwords.
Getting to this stage has been many years in the making, so we’re excited to finally release the change to our students and staff.