Single sign-on

Aim of the project

The aim of the Single Sign-On project is to simplify the registration process for the use of library resources.

Description of the project

In this context, Single Sign-On (SSO) means the ability to use any library service that requires registration via a login. Sometimes, library customers who are not members of a university require several logins to be able to access a library’s complete services. Members of universities usually have one login for the university’s services and another for the library services. 

The first step of the project (SSO 1) was to introduce Single Sign-On for members of ETH Zurich by combining the university and library logins. They have been able to use the library services with their nethz login ever since. ETH-Bibliothek’s IT services and the NEBIS Network Office have transformed SSO 1 into a service that can now be used by other interested universities and their NEBIS libraries.  

Meanwhile, the project team has begun with the second part of Single Sign-On (SSO 2). The aim is to introduce a new login that will enable customers who are not members of a university to use the library’s complete services in future. The new login,, is to be available on a trial basis for two of ETH-Bibliothek’s services, E-Lending and the public workstations. After the first operating period and once the experiences have been evaluated, interested NEBIS libraries should be able to connect their services to the login. As a result, customers who are not members of a university should no longer need any additional logins or new registrations, especially for electronic library services.

Synergies and context

The Knowledge Portal, the E-Lending Project and access to ETH-Bibliothek’s public workstations were instrumental in this project. Modern authentication and authorisation solutions serve as a central basis for the aforementioned matters.

Timeframe, sequence

December 2015:Completion of the development of the identity provider (IDP) and process design
January 2016:Introduction of the new login service Version 1.0
Spring 2016:Evaluation of experiences, planning improvements
Summer 2016:Launch of Version 1.1, adoption of the requirements of interested NEBIS libraries
Autumn 2016:Scheduled launch of Version 1.2