Most federations accept services of commercial vendors as long as there is a benefit for the higher education and research communities. Most companies that offer their services already to one or more federations are either digitial content providers (e.g. Elsevier, Springer, Thomson Reuters, MetaPress, etc.) or they offer specific services/goods to students and staff members of universities (e.g. Microsoft, Apple, alumni organisations, online shops, etc. ). The same companies could also offer their services in eduGAIN via an existing federations, which allows them to extend their user base to the whole world.
can we join eduGAIN?
Only established identity federations can join eduGAIN. Individual organisations and services first have to join an existing identity federation that already is eduGAIN Member in order to become eduGAIN-enabled. Depending on the federation, enabling a service for eduGAIN consists of a legal step (signing a document) and a few technical adapatations (configuring services to accept SAML assertions from eduGAIN entities). If a service or organisation already is federated, the efforts to become eduGAIN-enabled in generally are small. From a commercial vendor's point of view it is to first find an identity federation that already is participating in eduGAIN. Next step would be to become member of that federation and then in a second step become eduGAIN-enabled with the help of that federation. Becoming member of federation is free in most federations. Some federations will charge fees to expose a service of commercial vendors to eduGAIN.
Please have a look at the terminology page for learn more about some of the most used acronyms and terms.
How many users does eduGAIN have?
Please have a look at the eduGAIN users page.