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Product Manager, Ingenta

A fast, reliable and scalable solution for authenticating publishing content on a global scale.

The challenge

Ingenta (formerly The Publishing Technology Group) is one of the largest providers of software and services to the publishing industry, covering online, information commerce, back office and marketing services. Ingenta serves eight out of ten of the world’s largest publishers and the company’s online hosting services deliver over 70 million page views per year.

Ingenta has two main product platforms to enable publishers to deliver information and content online; ingentaconnect is a fully outsourced e-publishing package through which some 255 publishers host their content; pub2web is a content agnostic solution providing publishers with their own branded, semantically enabled site.

The pub2web platform supports sites for OECD, ICE Publishing, United Nations, Brill, GSE Research, Sunmedia, World Bank and launching later this year sites for American Institute of Physics, American Society for Microbiology, IET and CNPIEC.

For Ingenta, one of the most critical aspects of developing online publishing solutions is providing a robust, reliable and standards-based method of authentication and more specifically supporting federated solutions. Ingenta’s strategy is to partner with industry experts for one aspect of authentication – federated access – to enhance and add value to its services.

The solution

As a longstanding technology partner, OpenAthens’ Identity and Access Management Software has been used by the company for many years. With the development of new authentication standards – namely SAML (Shibboleth) – Ingenta needed to find the best way to support them. Building on the success of previous Eduserv solutions for Athens, Ingenta chose OpenAthens SP (Service Provider). As a result, Ingenta became the first service provider to adopt OpenAthens SP.

OpenAthens SP enables and manages secure access to protected content, usually on the web. Ingenta uses the software within its ingentaconnect and pub2web platforms to support subscribers wishing to access content via Athens or Shibboleth.

Rose Robinson, Product Manager for Ingenta’s Online Solutions Division says, “What particularly attracted us was the ability for OpenAthens SP to support both Athens and SAML (Shibboleth) authentication from one system and the fact that it gave us a ready-made, robust and proven solution from a trusted partner. We’re always looking ahead to the next big thing that will enhance the user experience – such as Future opportunities around the potential use case of using OAuth within a scholarly space. It was vital for us to work with a partner who already has this covered, enabling us to add single sign-on quickly and easily.”

A number of pub2web customer sites launching in 2012 will support multiple Shibboleth federations, including Germany, Spain and InCommon. OpenAthens SP allows Publishing Technology to quickly add additional federation authentications as customers expand into new markets.


• A proven and highly trusted federated authentication solution.

• Helps publishers open up new markets by applying additional Access Management Federations quickly and easily.

• Easier and faster to deploy new federated authentication-enabled services and websites for customers because of component and modular structure of OpenAthens SP.

• Future-proofs ability to provide customers with the latest federated authentication changes.

• Enables Publishing Technology to quickly introduce new federated authentication standards like OAuth.