Join as SWITCHaai Federation Partner

What is a Federation Partner?

Your organization can become a SWITCHaai Federation Partner, if your organization does not belong to the SWITCH Community but you want to contribute to the SWITCHaai Federation. As Federation Partner Basic, you can integrate your web applications into SWITCHaai and they may use the central AAI services required for a smooth operation within SWITCHaai.

A Federation Partner Basic typically operates AAI-enabled web resources (Service Providers, SP) and makes them available for the users with an AAI-enabled account at one of the participating Home Organizations.
AAI-enabled web resource can be e-learning platforms, web shops, e-journal databases, etc. that make use of federated authentication and do authorize access to their applications based on the information they got via AAI from the Identity Provider (IdP) of the users home organization.

An organization joins as Federation Partner Plus if it wants to provide their student and staff users AAI-enabled accounts with a student or staff affiliation of their Home Organization. That way, these users can gain access to services registered in the SWITCHaai Federation, provided a service authorizes the access, e.g. based on licensing conditions.
In addition, a Federation Partner Plus will also be entitled to contribute AAI-enabled web resources to the SWITCHaai Federation as described aboce for Federation Partner Basic.

Participation Requirements

The following entities and organizations may qualify to become Federation Partner Basic:

  1. Higher education and research organizations (both domestic and international) wishing to offer AAI-enabled resources to one or more of the participating Home Organizations; and
  2. Entities and organizations wishing to offer AAI-enabled, education and research-related services to the users, i.e. the registered end users of one or more Home Organizations.

The following entities and organizations may qualify to become Federation Partner Plus:

  1. Domestic higher education and research organizations wishing to provide their student and staff users with an AAI-enabled account with a student or staff affiliation of their Home Organization.

Already Participating SWITCHaai Federation Partners

List all SWITCHaai Federation Partners

Becoming a SWITCHaai Federation Partner

A prospect SWITCHaai Federation Partner has to sign two documents:

In addition, a prospect SWITCHaai Federation Partner Basic needs to be officially supported by a SWITCHaai Participant from the SWITCH Community (a.k.a. "Sponsor") that will also sign the Application Form.
In case the prospect Federation Partner has well established, contracts-based, relationships with SWITCHaai Participants, such an explicit sponsorship can be waived.

A prospect SWITCHaai Federation Partner Plus needs to also sign a service agreement with SWITCH that regulates the operation of the Identity Provider component required.


The SWITCH edu-ID Service Description is the core document where all rights and obligations are listed, e.g. the SWITCHaai Federation Policy in chapter 5. Chapter 5.2.2 refers to fees. At the moment, for becoming or being Federation Partner Basic, no fees get charged. However, Federation Partner Plus always includes a service fee.

For a Federation Partner Basic, interfederation is available as paid option to cover the additional support effort required, whereas this option is included for Federation Partner Plus. Details are available on request.

The procedure to join

SWITCH will prepare the forms to be signed, provided you send us the following information to

  • Federation Partner Basic or Plus?:
  • Organization name:
  • Organization postal address:
  • Administrative contact person for the agreement:
    • Full name:
    • E-Mail:
    • Phone:
  • Technical contact person:
    • Full name:
    • E-Mail:
    • Phone:

SWITCH will then send you the customized documents ready to sign including the SWITCH edu-ID Service Description and the General Terms and Conditions for Services of SWITCH (GTC).

In case of any questions, please contact the SWITCHaai team at

Technical Information for Setting up a Service

In order to technically join the federation, it is of course necessary to install, configure and register your service.
Checkout the Getting Started: Setting up a Service page for the options when deploying a SAML or OpenID Connect (OIDC) based service.

For deployiong a SAML Service Provider (SP), SWITCH strongly recommends to use the open-source Shibboleth implementation. For that purpose, we provide installation and configuration instructions.
More on the Federation Partner SAML Service Provider deployment page

SWITCH will get in contact with the Federation Partner to sort out the technical details. Federation Partners can first test the interoperability in the AAI Test Federation before they add their resource to the production SWITCHaai Federation.