University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
UTHSC-H Integrated Directory Service
Middleware |  Identity Management |  Authentication |  Authorization |  Digital IDs |  Systems

The UTHSC-H Integrated Directory Service (IDS) contains a single "virtual" entry for every person officially affiliated with the University. Each entry has associated attributes that describe various aspects of that person's affiliation(s). Attribute information is obtained from the primary personnel databases ( i.e. the Human Resources Management System (HRMS), the Student Information System (SIS), the Graduate Medical Education Information System (GMEIS) and the Guest Database). Additional information is obtained from other databases as appropriate. Example attributes include: 
  • a person's role(s): e.g. student, faculty, A&P, staff, resident, etc. (Note: an individual may have multiple roles.)
  • title(s)
  • e-mail address
  • telephone number
  • school(s)
  • department(s)
  • digital ID, i.e. digital certificate
  • membership(s) in Directory Service Groups defining e-mail and authorization lists
  • inter-institutional attributes (i.e. eduperson - a schema for institutions of higher education)
  • etc.
Directory Service information is extensively used by both people and computer systems for a multitude of reasons. For example, someone may access the UTHSC-H "People Directory" to obtain basic information about a person such as his or her e-mail address, title(s), office location, telephone number, etc.  The "People Directory" obtains this information on demand from the Directory Service. 

Multiple information systems that require authentication and authorization prior to granting a requester access to desired information often utilize the Directory Service. Some Web applications, for example, require that a person be a resident or a faculty member in order to be authorized to submit a form or to access restricted data.  As part of the authorization process, such Web applications go to the Directory Service to determine if the requesting person has the appropriate attributes.

The Enterprise Directory Service  is a major component of the "Middleware Infrastructure" required to integrate multiple software applications both within UTHSC-H and across the global Internet. Additional components are

  • Identity Management
  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Digital IDs
Academic Technology