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Interfederation Technical Information and Policies

Information and Guidance on Importing, Exporting to eduGAIN

eduGAIN Constitution and Policies

InCommon and eduGAIN: Global Interfederation

InCommon is part of the global interfederation service eduGAIN, allowing for convenient single sign-on interaction with higher education institutions, research organizations, and corporate service providers around the world. Details and additional information is available at

How Does it Work?

eduGAIN provides an efficient way for national federations to interconnect (see the eduGAIN website for details and a short video). Each federation sends its trust registry (e.g. metadata) to eduGAIN, where it is combined with all the national registries and republished (see the illustration to the right).

InCommon imports the eduGAIN consolidated international registry, merges it with our local entries and publishes for your use. In InCommon, each imported identity and service provider entry also has a tag that designates its home federation to allow for filtering.

How Does This Benefit My Organization?

Here are some examples of how individuals and organizations will benefit from eduGAIN. There are a number of other user stories on the eduGAIN web.

Identity Provider Example - Roseanne participates in two different grant-funded projects with colleagues from the U.S. and Europe. Different universities on different continents host the collaboration tools used by these projects, including email lists, wikis, and specialized tools to organize the data and crunch the numbers. The services belong to different identity federations, but now Roseanne has access to all of the collaboration tools using her home campus ID and password.

Service Provider Example - A provider of online journals and databases has higher education customers in the U.S., Brazil, the U.K., and various countries in Europe. In the past, this service provider would have had to join the identity federation in each country in order to reach all of its customers. This library provider can now join just one federation and reach customers in all 40 national federations in eduGAIN.

The LIGO Experience - LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), a large NSF-funded collaboration, involves more than 900 scientists from dozens of institutions across 16 countries. In the past, LIGO had to issue its own credentials to scientists from institutions outside of InCommon. Now LIGO can leverage InCommon and eduGAIN to allow participating scientists to use their home credentials to access its global resources wherever they are located.

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