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Moonshot is a new technology that builds upon a number of existing, deployed technologies. It is not intended to be a replacement for these technologies; rather, it fills a gap in potential use cases for federated authentication that the current technologies cannot address alone.

The existing technologies in use include:

  • SAML-based federations (such as the UK Access Management Federation) - providing access to web-based resources
  • RADIUS-based network roaming federations (such as eduroam) - providing international secure network roaming

While these technologies and services work very well when used as intended, the idea of extending those services beyond their original design scope to address different types of service and applications has several drawbacks, including poor support and unexpected service behaviours. 

Moonshot instead takes these technologies, adopts the best bits from each technology, and integrates them in a new way such that the benefits of federated authentication can be realised by services and applications that, until now, were out of the reach of the existing technologies.

As such, Moonshot is expected to sit alongside the other existing technologies, giving those who wish to enjoy another tool to enjoy the advantages that federated authentication can give to their services and to their communities.