IdP of Last Resort Working Group

The IdP of Last Resort Working Group finished its work in June 2015. The final report is here.


Current Work Items


SPs often find that the population they want to serve includes individuals who are not represented by campus-based or other institutional IdPs, or the campus IdPs refuse to release attributes necessary for the operation of the SP. Ideally in those cases such individuals could be directed to register with a participating IdP that offered no-cost, easy registration processes. Some services that once fit this description now require onerous charges to SPs for their use, so a second ideal characteristic is that such "IdPs of Last Resort" not charge SPs for their use.

This working group will evaluate the issues and requirements around an IdPs of Last Resort and provide recommendations on next steps.


Co-Chairs: Keith Hazelton and Steve Olshansky

Membership in the Working Group is open to all interested parties. Members join the Working Group by subscribing to the mailing list, participating in the phone calls, and otherwise actively engaging in the work of the group. It is particularly important that the work group include representatives of the research community with knowledge of the challenges around helping everyone who should have access to online resources get that access.

The chair of the Working Group is appointed by the InCommon TAC and is responsible for keeping the TAC informed regarding Working Group status.

To subscribe to the WG mailing list, send email to sympa (at) incommon (dot) org with the following subject line: subscribe idpolr Firstname Lastname


  1. Document the requirements on services intended to fill the need for an IdP of Last Resort. In particular, document the requirements for an IdP of Last Resort for the Research & Scholarship Category of services.
  2. Develop case studies of potential IdPs of Last Resort, including, for example,
  3. Explore trade-offs between an IdP of Last Resort approach vis-a-vis a social-to-SAML gateway approach (or other alternative proposals for serving individuals who need an IdP).
  4. Recommend a course of action based on the previous deliverables.

Expected End Date

The subcommittee is expected to complete all deliverables by March 15, 2014.

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