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  1. Technical Aspects of Authenticating Patrons Jonathan WoltzSouthwestern OklahomaState University Thursday, March 9, 2000

  2. or ... Remote Patron Access:No-Tech Versus High-Tech

  3. The problem: It’s not who you are -- it’s where your are.

  4. How do you choose a remote authentication solution?

  5. How do you choose a remote authentication solution? • Scalability • How well does it work as the number of patrons and/or resources grow?

  6. How do you choose a remote authentication solution? • Cost • Some are free. Others require software and hardware that can cost a lot of money.

  7. How do you choose a remote authentication solution? • Ease of use • Is it easy for patrons to use? • How much time will you spend helping remote patrons troubleshoot their access problems?

  8. How do you choose a remote authentication solution? • Security • How well does the solution protect your database from unauthorized use?

  9. How do you choose a remote authentication solution? • Library Technical Expertise • Does your solution require advanced computer skills to install and maintain?

  10. How do you choose a remote authentication solution? • Scalability • Cost • Ease of use • Security • Library Technical Expertise

  11. The No-Tech Solution • Give each patron the database password. • Scalability? • Cost? • Ease of use? • Security? • Library Technical Expertise?

  12. High-Tech Solution I • Use a proxy server. • How does a proxy server work? • A proxy server is a server installed as part of the library network. Library patrons connect to remote databases through the proxy server. The remote database only sees the IP of the proxy server, so the patron is allowed access.

  13. Proxy Servers • Scalability? • Cost? • Ease of use? • Security? • Library Technical Expertise?

  14. High-Tech Solution II • Use Z39.50 • The Z39.50 standard provides a way for the library to transmit a username and password to a remote database.

  15. Z39.50 • Scalability? • Cost? • Ease of use? • Security? • Library Technical Expertise?

  16. High-Tech Solution III • Referrer URL • Each time you go to a new web page, the URL of the previous page is transmitted. So ... • Put a page on the library site with links to databases. Limit access to the page to library patrons. • The database allows access when the referring page is the page on the library’s web site.

  17. Referrer URL • Scalability? • Cost? • Ease of use? • Security? • Library Technical Expertise?

  18. High-Tech Solution IV • Obvia Remote Database Access (RDA) Service • Claims to be a “turnkey solution” running on a server at the library or at Obvia’s site. • Library is responsible for entering patron data. Obvia handles the connection to vendor databases. • More info: www.obvia.com

  19. In conclusion ... • There is no single best solution. • If possible, make remote access to library resources part of your institution’s overall effort to make services available to remote users.

  20. For more information ... • Articles on remote access • Bouchard, Kerry. Authorization/Authentication for Patron Remote Access to Electronic Resources.http://lib.tcu.edu/www/staff/bouchard/ugc2000/remoteaccess.htm • Graham, Krista. Proxy Servers and Library Instruction. LOEX News, v.26(4), p.4-5.

  21. For more information ... • Articles on remote access • Kambitsch, Tim. Patron Authentication for Remote Access to Premium Data Services.http://www.dayton.lib.oh.us/~kambitsch/referral.html

  22. For more information ... • Articles on remote access • Sheehan, Mark and Porter, Allen. Authenticated Off-Net Access to Commercial Library Resources.http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/html/cem9920.html

  23. Product Information ... • Directory of proxy server products:http://serverwatch.internet.com/proxyservers.html • EZProxyhttp://www.usefulutilities.com • Obviahttp://www.obvia.com/ • Squid Proxy Serverhttp://www.squid-cache.org/

  24. This presentation ... http://www.swosu.edu/~woltzj/workshop/rpa.htm