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What is TIER?

TIER - Trust and Identity in Education and Research - is a community-initiated effort, coordinated by Internet2, to develop a consistent, rationalized approach to identity and access management that simplifies campus processes and advances inter-institutional collaboration and research. TIER is both an open-source toolset and a campus practice set.

What is a good starting point if I'm interested in finding out more about TIER?

Visit the TIER 101 wiki page , which includes introductory information, as well as links to related information and resources.

What are the goals of TIER?

The goals of TIER are to:

- sustain the community software investment made in developing a set of critically important identity-related software components;

-  integrate the software and project teams together with common APIs, data structures, development and release practices and schedules, and facilitative and flexible deployment packaging;

extend the software and practices to support  common contributed use cases.

Is TIER focused just on large schools?

No. TIER has derived requirements from a variety of schools, large and small. TIER should help smaller schools by making it easier to implement an IAM infrastructure that seamlessly interconnects with the rest of higher education. A large part of that is making this easy to implement and support and including corporate partners from the start who can help. Normalizing how identity is thought about and approached across higher education is the key.

Isn’t TIER a suite? Do I have to install everything?

Yes and no.
Yes to the extent that it's a set of integrated components meant to address IAM needs, it is a suite.
But no, in the sense that you can connect in your own components by leveraging the TIER API. The most important part of TIER will not be software, but it will be the practices, standards, and community alignment we get out of adopting the same approach.

What is the TIER Reference Architecture and where can I see it?

The TIER Reference Architecture assists executive stakeholders, campus IT architects and TIER community members in understanding the functional components for identity and access management in a higher education institution, and how those components relate to one another. Complete information is on the wiki:

Is TIER including corporate partners?

Yes. We have contracts now with several companies that the community has identified as key partners. Currently, these companies will be used to develop code used in the TIER releases, but we expect and will encourage them to also provide support contacts to the community.

How can I stay in touch with the TIER project?

1. Subscribe to the TIER newsletter.
2. Join the TIER Discussion list. Send an email to with the subject: subscribe tier-discussion 

How do I download the TIER Release?

Please see this wiki page

What is the best way to provide feedback on the TIER Release?

We welcome your feedback! Please see the instructions on this page

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TIER Newsletters

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2015: DecNovSep