IT Center

TIM- Adé!

October 25th, 2021 | by

TIM(e) to say goodbye! (Source: Own illustration)

As already mentioned in our post on Bye-Bye TIM TIM has already been taken offline on 24.07.2020.

For many years, our Tivoli Identity Management System (TIM) was a faithful and constant companion in the everyday life of RWTH. We enter the famous, RWTH-wide known identifier with two letters and six digits several times a day into the various systems and pages of the RWTH. But don’t worry, the user name remains, only TIM no longer exists.

TIM(e) to say goodbye!

Every IT system gets “old”. So does our IdentityManagement [IdM] core system. Expiring support for software and hardware made a fundamental renovation necessary after about 15 years of operation.

TIM (Tivoli Identity Management System) becomes MIM (Microsoft Identity Manager)

It quickly became clear that there could be no switchover from one day to the next. Two systems of fundamental importance for identity management were replaced during the same period – SAP for employee administration and RWTHonline as the new campus management system. These were then connected directly to our new core system. The resulting double operation cost us a lot of energy, but at the same time ensured that all other systems could then be connected to the new IdM system piece by piece – without having to stop IdM operation.

All kinds of components were also redeveloped, including the ConnectMe coupon process and a separate messaging system.

But what remains after this shutdown?

What remains is your username, still known as TIM ID.

Only the TIM identifier will be replaced by username, because the identifier has nothing to do with TIM anymore.

The surely catchy name “TIM identifier” was derived from the name of the underlying software. However, software changes and with it its name – basic IDs, however, not necessarily. And already you have an abbreviation that everyone questions, but for which there is no longer any meaningful explanation. Most systems (especially bought-in ones) ask for a “user name” when authenticating – and that’s exactly what the TIM ID is and always was. Now it is also called that. In itself, the username is the one part of a secret that the user uses to claim, “That’s me” – which they prove with the associated password. To make it as easy as possible for users, the same username is used in all accounts managed via IdM whenever possible. Deviations are possible, for example, in the case of mergers, when a user was registered twice in IdM.

Consequently, TIM identifier becomes the username. We say:

TIM(e) to say goodbye.

In the course of this shutdown, we conducted interviews with some colleagues who were instrumental in this change. They talked about the beginnings of email accounts for all, the procurement and history of the TIM system, and the migration to the new system.

Well, curious now? You can now watch the partly emotional interviews on the IT Center YouTube channel.

What does this TIM actually look like?

Is it a bird? Is it an airplane? No, it’s a cabinet with hardware. Sounds unspectacular? Just take a look for yourself! You can see what the already shutdown machine looks like in our video.

A long process is now ahead of us until the term “user name” finally replaces the “TIM identifier”. Who knows, maybe the TIM identifier will remain with us as a remnant here and there. But when we speak of the username, we now know the background and that it is the former TIM identifier.

Well, are you still talking about the TIM identifier? Where does the name still appear? Where do you still read the term TIM identifier? We are looking forward to your hints in the comments!


Responsible for the content of this article are Dunja Gath and Thorsten Kurth.

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