WGU Login Manager FAQ
A few questions answered regarding the WGU Login Manager
The WGU Login Manager is an "identity management system", meaning that it is intended to be a central storage place where we keep the latest login information for any employee or student who has access to WGU's online tools, such as MyWGU. The job of the WGU Login Manager is to simplify the problem we all have with the management of multiple usernames and passwords, by making the need for them go away (with single-signon) or at least making them the same on multiple systems (common credentials).
The Login Manager enforces password strength rules and insists that we change our passwords from time to time, which helps with information security. For WGU employees, It also maintains our rights to access information differently in different systems, based on the job title or titles we hold.
Today, the WGU Login Manager handles usernames and passwords for our MyWGU Portal, the Banner system, our internal Windows network, email, instant messaging, wikis, issue tracking systems, and Google Apps for Higher Education. By extension, it is also assisting with single-signon access to assessments from Kryterion, and the Sallie Mae site.
In the late winter of 2010, the WGU Login Manager is being deployed to handle logins for employees only. As winter turns to spring, we'll be asking WGU students to use the Login Manager, as well.
We will be making every tool work with the WGU Login Manager over time, if the manufacturer of the tool provides us with the technical means to do so. Soon, we'll be adding Taskstream, Adobe Connect, and our major providers of online learning resources. Contact our IT Help Desk if you have suggestions for particular tools that should be added.
Windows XP stores a heavily encrypted copy of your network password whenever it is changed, but can only do so if it is in direct contact with a Windows Active Directory Server, like those we have in our Salt Lake City data centers. When you take your computer home, it can no longer have direct contact with a Active Directory server, and simply uses its locally-stored copy to compare with what you type in. Unfortunately Microsoft saw no need to provide a way to update the locally-stored copy from afar in Windows XP.
A few work-from-home-staff have Windows XP computers which are not part of our "Windows Domain." These staff can actually change their Windows XP passwords themselves, to make it the same as the one they set in the Login Manager, if they prefer. If you find that you can't do this, however, that will indicate that the computer needs to be placed on our local area network in Salt Lake City if any change of password on it is to occur. We generally recommend just living with the separate password, for the short term, unless you happen to be in Salt Lake City on business.
This limitation is relieved by Windows 7. WGU is deploying Windows 7 in the first half of 2010, beginning with replacement computers offered to staff carrying obsolete machines at the Winter 2010 Academic Meetings. We expect to have most WGU computers running Windows 7 by the end of the fiscal year in June. At that point, changing your password in the WGU Login Manager will also change the password for your WIndows login under most circumstances.
Claiming your login gives the Login Manager the password you want to use, which it then "federates" (transmits) to other systems as needed, and stores in encrypted form. It also lets you specify some answers to questions that you can be asked, to verify your identity if you should need to reset your password. One major benefit of claiming your login, if your passwords differ between WGU systems, is that the Login Manager will make them all the same for you, automatically.
If you are an employee, the Login Manager will also grant you the rights and priveledges that you need to access different systems, as indicated by the title or titles you hold at WGU.
The Login Manager associates a unique claim code with each user name we issue. User names are made unique when we create them. If two people have the names similar enough that they might have the same user name, we usually add a number to differentiate the two. For example, if "Ted Smith" and "Teresa Smith" both join WGU, we might give Ted the user name "tsmith" and Teresa the user name "tsmith1", ensuring that they each have unique user names and unique claim codes. Once claimed, an account cannot be claimed again unless our IT team intervenes, and sends a new claim email. In addition, claim codes also expire after 30 days so that someone reading an old claim email can't use it to claim an account.
WebDrive is the tool which provides secure desktop access to certain network folders hosted by WGU, over the internet. Our I: drive and student records folders are made available this way. When it was first installed, you had to give it your password so that it could provide this access. Whenever your password changes, WebDrive needs the new one.
Detailed instruction on how to put a new password in WebDrive is available here. WebDrive doesn't produce the most lucid error messages, sometimes, when it has an incorrect password, so if it is behaving badly we recommend that you first reboot your computer, then give WebDrive your new password. It asks for the password one time for each network drive it is supporting, so it is not unusual for WebDrive to ask for a password two or more times.
WGU's Spark Instant Messenger also needs a password, which you set when it was first installed. When you change your password, your instant messaging client software (whether it is Spark or another compatible software package) will need the new one, in order to log in.
This article tells you haw to set a new password in the WGU Spark instant messenger. If you are using a different one and having some trouble with it, please call our IT Help Desk.