The Oxford Internal Federation is a service that allows Oxford-specific Shibboleth Service Providers (SPs) to authenticate users without being included in the public metadata published by the UK Access Management Federation. This has some advantages including:
- Faster service provider registration.
There is no longer a need to wait for the daily refresh of UK federation metadata.
- Reduced metadata file sizes.
In Oxford, many colleges have set up print servers or meal booking systems that use Shibboleth for authentication. These are of limited interest to non-Oxford users, but currently make up a sizeable part of the UK federation metadata file. By placing these in the Internal Federation instead, the UK federation metadata file can be kept smaller, improving performance for all.