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The OCLS Remote Access application, also known as RA3, provides off-campus access to various secured IP-authenticated electronic databases to Ontario colleges students.
The RA3 is a multi-tiered web application that communicates with a proprietary Sirsi Dynix ILS, MS SQL2000 server and colleges Active Directory services over LDAP to validate patrons.
It allows participating college libraries and their students to use their college or library-issued credentials to gain access to the electronic databases that their respective college subscribes to.
There are currently 17 colleges subscribing to this service.
Some of those colleges do not keep their patron data on OCLS servers. These colleges upload their patron data to the Bibliocentre S/FTP server where DTS pick up this data and feed it into the respective MS SQL server database table. This type of authentication is referred to as “CUSTOM” authentication in RA3.
The other type of authentication, called “SIRSI2”, is used for the rest of the colleges that outsource their library and patron data to Bibliocentre. RA3 communicates with their data service in real-time to authenticate users.
Recently, RA3 has been scaled to authenticate Active Directory users over LDAP. At the time of this writing, only Lambton college is utilizing this method.
RA3 uses profiling to keep track of each college and the databases that the college subscribes to. This is to ensure against any unintentional database license violations.
College profiling also allows RA3 to personalize the user interface for the colleges and to block certain users.
Upon successful patron authentication, RA3 uses EzProxy server to connect a user to the requested database. The EzProxy session stays alive for as long as the user stays on the database site.