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InCommon Federation Attribute Summary

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the attributes commonly encountered in the use of InCommon-enabled services.

Table Key

Friendly Name

A short name for the attribute

Formal Names

The formal name of the attribute when expressed in a SAML assertion in accordance with the SAML V2.0 LDAP/X.500 Attribute Profile

Datatype

An informal description of the value syntax of the attribute

Multi?

Indicates whether the attribute is multi-valued

Attribute Summary Table

Friendly Name

Formal Names

Datatype

Multi?

eduPersonScopedAffiliation

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:eduPersonScopedAffiliation
SAML2: urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.5923.1.1.1.9

Domain-Qualified String Enumeration

Y

eduPersonPrincipalName

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:eduPersonPrincipalName
SAML2: urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.5923.1.1.1.6

Domain-Qualified String

N

eduPersonEntitlement

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:eduPersonEntitlement
SAML2: urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.5923.1.1.1.7

URI

Y

eduPersonTargetedID

urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.5923.1.1.1.10

String, max. 256 characters

N

sn

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:sn
SAML2: urn:oid:2.5.4.4

String

Y

givenName

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:givenName
SAML2: urn:oid:2.5.4.42

String

Y

displayName

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:displayName
SAML2: urn:oid:2.16.840.1.113730.3.1.241

String

N

mail

SAML1: urn:mace:dir:attribute-def:mail
SAML2: urn:oid:0.9.2342.19200300.100.1.3

String Y

Attribute Descriptions

eduPersonScopedAffiliation

Formal Definition

Description
Multiple values of the form value@domain, where domainis (typically) a DNS-like subdomain representing the organization or sub-organization of the affiliation (e.g., "osu.edu") and value is one of:

  • member
  • student
  • employee
  • faculty
  • staff
  • alum
  • affiliate

Note that these values are NOT case-sensitive, and capital or mixed-case values are permitted (e.g., MEMBER, Member, MeMbEr), though all lower-case is recommended.

Usage Notes
Affiliation is a high-level expression of the relationship of the user to the university or organization specified in the domain. A user can possess many affiliations, though some values are mutually exclusive. This attribute is often made available to any Shibboleth service provider, and is a good way to filter or block users of a given general type. In particular, "member" is an indication that the user is somebody with relatively official standing with a university at the present time, and does not apply to guests, other temporary accounts, terminated employees, unpaid/unregistered students, and other exceptional cases.

eduPersonPrincipalName

Formal Definition

Description
A single value of the formuser@domain, wheredomainis (typically) a DNS-like subdomain representing the security domain of the user (e.g., "osu.edu") and user is generally a username, NetID, UserID, etc. of the sort typically assigned for authentication to network services within the security domain.

Usage Notes
EPPN is the eduPerson equivalent of a username. It typically has most of the properties usually associated with usernames (such as uniqueness and a naming convention of some sort), with the added property of global uniqueness through the use of a scope. An application that tracks information based on it can therefore interact with users via any number of identity providers without fear of duplicates, although the possibility for recycling/reassignment does still exist within the domain of a given identity provider.Note that at some Identity Providers a user can freely change their local account name (in the case of a name change due to marriage, for example), and the corresponding EPPN will typically change as well. This can cause a loss of service until name changes propagate throughout every application storing the value. For a less dynamic identifier, see also the eduPersonTargetedID attribute.

eduPersonEntitlement

Formal Definition

Description
Muliple values, each a URI, representing a license, permission, right, etc. to access a resource or service in a particular fashion. Entitlements represent an assertion of authorization to something, precomputed and asserted by the identity provider. This attribute is typically used to assert privileges maintained centrally rather than within specific application databases.

Usage Notes
Entitlements should not in general be parsed or interpreted based on the structure or content of the values, but simply compared as strings to access-control expressions in the application.

eduPersonTargetedID

Formal Definition

Description
A single string value of no more than 256 characters that uniquely identifiers a user in an opaque, privacy-preserving fashion. In most cases, the value will be different for a given user for each service provider to which a value is sent, to prevent correlation of activity between service providers.

Usage Notes
This attribute offers a powerful alternative to the use of eduPersonPrincipalName as a user identifier within applications and databases. Its power lies in the fact that it offers a significant degree of privacy and control for users. It also tends to be more stable than EPPN because it doesn't change merely in response to superficial name changes. It still may change, but generally in a more controlled fashion. It also requires a policy of non-reassignment. That is, while a given user may be associated with more than one value over time, a single value once assigned will never be assigned to any other user.  When appropriate, the value can remain consistent across multiple service providers, if those systems have a demonstrated relationship and need to share information about the user's activities. Such sharing must be tightly controlled.

Note that the values are not guaranteed to be unique except within a given identity provider's set of values.

sn

Formal Definition

Description
Multiple string values containing components of the users's "family" name or surname.

givenName

Formal Definition

Description
Multiple string values containing the part of the user's name that is not their surname or middle name.

displayName

Formal Definition

Description
A single string value indicating the preferred name of a person to be used for display purposes, for example a greeting or a descriptive listing.

mail

Formal Definition

Description
Preferred address for the "to:" field of email to be sent to this person. Usually of the form localid@univ.edu. Likely only one value.

Usage Notes
The address in this attribute cannot be assumed to represent an organizationally-assigned contact address for a user established as part of a strong identity-proofing process. This may be true of some organizations that assert this attribute, but some organizations may permit users to provide their own preferred address, e.g. an email account at an Internet mail service.

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