Provisioning is the key task of populating various 'Clouds' and 'Services' with a valid and reliable username.
The tool that manages the username and password is called NetAdmin which is a key part of Crystal.
SSO (Single Sign On)
Once there is a valid and reliable username (otherwise know as Identity Management) then a secure password can be associated with that username.
This combination of username and password can ensure secure access. This is known as IAM (Identity and Access Management).
This combination then uses a protocol called SAML2 to provide a common but secure access to a number of different 'Clouds' and 'Services'.
The Crystal SSOservices web site provides a a place where user experiences provide a reservoir of handy hints and best practice for establishing SSO services.
The user experience can be enhanced with a school focused display template.
At this stage each school has its own selection of 'Clouds' and 'Services' that are compatible with SSO. The next task is populating each Cloud or Service with the selected users from that school.
The Crystal module that manages this process is once again "NetAdmin". The first step is to simply provision (populate) all the selected users into the Cloud or Service in a consistent manner by populating everyone into one group.
Schools who just want basic services like email remain with "simple provisioning' but those who wish to leverage deeper learning need to adopt a richer provisioning mode.
Educationally simple provisioning does not provide enough information to effectively group thus is of little use in the classroom. In order to be effective the users need to be grouped in a differing number ways that can change in response to learning needs.
Often this means grouping in timetable classes while other demands may require time based groups, whanau grouping, ages or even merging inter-school groups (e.g. Scholarship courses or Intermediate technical centre grouping). Some 'Clouds' (e.g. Hapara) or 'Services' (e.g. ETV) often require richer provisioning. The Crystal tool used is once again NetAdmin.
The ability to provision in flexible and multiple ways on the fly lends itself to the introduction of more enhanced set of services. Read more about these enhanced services here