IT Services

Getting an SSO username - process details


1. Introduction

The Oxford University primary Single Sign On (SSO) username gives the owner access to a range of University and College on-line resources and beyond. It is never re-issued to anyone else once you have left.

This page documents the current process of issuing the SSO username and is primarily aimed at Card Administrators and Department and College IT Support Staff and gives fuller description than

An SSO username is only issued to people who have been confirmed by the Department or College as having a status which qualifies them for one. The status is confirmed by the issuing of a University Card by the Administrator for the Unit.

For what each status is entitled to, see Computing Entitlements. If you are entitled, you may be able to request additional 'project' usernames, to enable you to separate different roles eg Administrator, or for a publication or research project. These would be in addition to your primary SSO account, and could be transferred if you leave.

OSS is the Oxford (Oracle) Student System ie Student Records.

IT Services is the Oxford University Computing Services

2. University Card - the starting point

New Card

  1. For members of Congregation, the 'Invitation' to apply is sent by Card Office, and the application is returned to them directly.(Day 1)
  2. For other statuses eg Staff, the individual signs a paper application form and provides a photo. The form is then countersigned by the designated Card Administrator for the unit. (Day 1)
  3. Overnight a new record is added to the IT Services Registration database. (Day 2)
  4. The username is created (Day 2)
  5. Username data available to all units who need it. (Day 2)
  6. The letter containing the username and Activation code is automatically printed (Day 2)
  7. The letter is manually put in an envelope- usually addressed to the individual concerned. (Day 2)
  8. Neither the status of the person nor the course is available at the point of enveloping.
  9. The data is available for IT staff set a new Activation Code if they do not want to wait for the letter. (Day 2)
  10. If the individual has received their University Card, they can bring it to IT Services Help Centre to get their account details. (Day 2)
  11. The letter is collected by the University's Messenger Service about midday (Day 2)
  12. The letter arrives at the Department/College depending on internal post delivery times (Day 3/4)

Details Updated: existing person whose completion date has been extended

  1. Card Administrator informs Card Office by phone, email or paper that a person is still current in that unit. (Day 1)
  2. The Card record is updated, usually that day. (Day 1)
  3. IT Services Registration database is updated overnight (Day 2)
  4. The project times of all usernames belonging to that person are automatically extended. (Day 2)
  5. The validity of email addresses and TSM backup are also extended.(Day 2)
  6. No paper work is generated

Details Updated: existing or previous card holder whose affiliation changes

  1. Steps 1-2 above
  2. Data is added to IT Services Registration database (Day 2)
  3. IT Services automatically prints a list of all affiliation changes (Day 2)
  4. Affiliations are manually added or removed by IT Services Registration, based on the list. Changes often require expert local knowledge and are not easy to automate (Day 2).
  5. Email addresses are added and the old ones set to wind down over 2 months (Day 2). The owner is advised of expiring email addresses by email by an automatted process.
  6. Usually, no paper work is generated for the individual.


    • If an SSO account is not current, one will be created. (Day 2)
    • If an account Activation or Rescue Code is needed, details will be prepared for the Messenger Service collection. (Day 2)

3. Where the account details are sent.

The University Card database can hold one Department and one College.

The rules IT Services use to determine where the printed details are to be sent, depends on the status on the card.

Where there is a Department, it will be used for

The College will be used for

4. Examples of resources available via the SSO account

For University members