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What can you do with SURFconext?

SURFconext offers 'Single Sign On'-access to a large and increasing number of online services. About 200 Dutch organizations in the area of secondary vocational-, higher education and research are using SURFconext for this. Among the most used services are Brightspace, SURFspot, Blackboard, Google Apps for Education and several library services.

Go directly to documentation

Identity Providers

An Identity Provider (IdP) is an organization which provides information about the identity of a user that makes authentication of a user possible. Examples of Identity Providers are Universities and research institutions. These organizations deliver the identities for their students and employees.

Documentation for Identity Providers (Dutch)


Service Providers

A Service Provider (SP) is an organization which delivers content and services that are available via the internet. For example: Web shops, video services and publishers but also educational institutions which offer online courses for students from other institutions. Examples are SURFspot, Google Apps for Education, Edugroepen, Blackboard, etc.

Documentation for Service Providers (English)

Looking for end-user documentation? That can be found here.

What advantages does SURFconext offer for my organization?

The group of organizations (connected IdP's) in The Netherlands who use SURFconext, consist of universities, university hospitals and tertiary medical teaching hospitals, universities of applied sciences, research institutions and senior secondary vocational education institutions. Together they represent a group of about 1.5 million users. These users generate millions of logins per month and use over a thousand different cloud services.

SURFconext allows users to have access to services offered by multiple Service Providers using only 1 account. Besides this, SURFconext facilitates online collaboration in the cloud. This can be done between users of the same organization as well as users between different organizations.

For IdP's

If you connect your organization to SURFconext, you will enjoy the following advantages:

  • By connecting to SURFconext only once, you can easily provide users access to any of the connected services.
  • You don't have to implement and maintain a custom made connection to each service or Service Provider separately.
  • You can regulate authorization for entire groups of students and employees easily.
  • The number of available services is growing by the day, since more and more organizations choose to use SURFconext.
  • You can integrate your internal authorization resources with SURFconext.
  • Integrates perfectly with SURFsecureID for strong authentication.
  • Easy integration of services thanks to open standards.
  • Also available on mobile devices.

For SP's

  • Connecting once to the platform makes your service available to all connected institutions (connected IdP's).
  • Fast and easy access for users of universities, hospitals and research institutions.
  • Certainty about identity of users, at every authentication.
  • Less user administration.
  • SURF can provide you with a privacy (GDPR) friendly user identifier.
  • A single point of contact with one connection.
  • A long-time trusted partner of education and research institutions.
  • Integrates perfectly with SURFsecureID for strong authentication.
  • Also available on mobile devices.

For end users

  • Simple, secure access to cloud services with the institution's account. In other words, no need for separate user accounts with the hassle of passwords for individual services 
  • Single sign-on: authenticate once, and as long as your session is valid (often a day), you can access other SURFconext connected services without signing in again.
  • We try to minimize what data the Service Provider receives in order to protect your privacy. We can even replace identifiers with pseudonyms for extra privacy.
  • It is always clear with which services your data is being shared, on your SURFconext profile page.
  • Access to services from the international education and research community.
  • Easily prove your relation to (an) institution(s).

Why should I connect to SURFconext?

With the above mentioned advantages and the fast growing number of available cloud services, the advantages to connect to SURFconext are obvious. Most organizations consider to use these services combined with internally hosted services. Besides this, organizations want to offer a secure environment where both internal and external services can be used side by side. Important elements for this are Single Sign-On, trusted identity and collaboration in groups and teams. Organizations are looking for possibilities to integrate these different kinds of applications. SURFconext offers a starting points to do so.

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