OpenAthens LA

Locally hosted identity and access management

OpenAthens LA (Local Authentication) enables your organisation to securely and effectively manage users’ access to online resources.

Installed locally, it links to your internal user directory, providing your users with single sign-on (SSO) access to both internal and external web-based resources

OpenAthens LA supports the SAML access management protocol. It can also be configured to work with Kerberos. This means you can easily access services outside or within federations such as the UK Access Management Federation and OpenAthens Federation.

OpenAthens LA is the perfect solution for organisations that want to provide users with a streamlined and seamless experience when accessing web-based services.

OpenAthens LA customers include:

  • AkzoNobel
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Aston University
  • Bath Spa University
  • Biblioteca Virtual de Ciencies de la Salut de les Illes Balears
  • De Montfort University
  • Ravensbourne
  • Royal College of Art
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  • Swansea University


Powerful and simple to use

  • Simple to install, configure and maintain
  • One username and password for all resources
  • Secure single sign-on (SSO) access to multiple web-based services
  • Fully supported product with free access to the OpenAthens Service Desk
  • Capable of connecting as an Identity Provider to any Shibboleth based Federation
  • Connects to system user directory, enabling management of access with existing usernames and passwords
  • Directory data can be held locally, externally by third parties, or both to suit your needs
  • Comprehensive usage statistics by user category and by resource.

Flexible and futureproof

  • Modular architecture allows adoption of all protocols used by service providers in a single platform
  • Benefit from technical advances with minimal impact on internal IT departments
  • Provides an open Application Programming Interface (API) for the creation of custom modules
  • Long-term development roadmap with commitment to open standards such as SAML
  • The Athens Managed Proxy Service or the OpenAthens LA integrated proxy module enables single sign-on for organisations with both compliant and non-compliant Athens resources.

Technical details


  • SAML 1.1, SAML 2.0
  • Compatibility with Shibboleth 1.2, 1.3 and 2.0
  • Athens-only resources

Local authentication

  • LDAP/Active Directory
  • Kerberos
  • Delegated to Apache
  • Custom Modules

User data stores

  • LDAP/Active Directory
  • MySQL/MS SQL Server
  • Custom Modules

Supported platforms

Runtime Server

  • Pre-built Virtual Machine Image available
  • RedHat/CentOS Linux (x86 and x86_64)

Administration Console Server

  • Installer available for Windows XP, Server 2003, Server 2008, Vista, Windows 7
  • Pre-built Virtual Machine Image available
  • Any operating system, capable of running a Sun Java Runtime Environment version 6. This includes:
    • Linux (various distributions)
    • Mac OS X
    • Solaris
Ian Winship

Get in touch


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Ian Winship

OpenAthens Sales Manager, UK HE/FE


The ease of use and flexibility of OpenAthens has been invaluable to Aston University in enabling us to transform the service we provide to students, staff and our partner institutions.

Erica Lee

Information Resources Specialist, Aston University