Directory Services

Central Directory Service

The Central Directory Service (CDS) is one of the most critical systems in place at the University today. It is a key part of the overall technical infrastructure. CDS provides a unified directory of all known individuals affiliated with the University and is the authoritative source for determining access to enterprise systems. Some of the systems that depend on CDS include the HR/Payroll System, ID Center System, Blackboard Course Management system, My Pitt, and University email. The Central Directory Service along with the Accounts Management System provides accountability to help ensure a secure computing environment while providing the flexibility to meet the diverse technology demands across the University environment.

CDS provides single sign-on access. This means that with your one University Computing Account username and password, you can access most University-wide systems. You can even access some resources outside the University using your University Computing Account username and password.

CDS was created as a central registry for individual identities within the University and to manage University Computing Accounts. A key principle underlying the design of the system is that an individual affiliated with the University should have one and only one user account.

At the core of CDS is information about people and their affiliations with the University. This information is obtained from various source systems, such as the payroll system and student information systems. Information about individuals can also be entered into CDS manually for individuals who participate in University programs but do not have a formal student, faculty, or staff affiliation.

Enterprise Active Directory Service

Enterprise Active Directory (AD) is a tool used to authenticate and authorize users who connect to the University of Pittsburgh network with their University Computing Account username and password. It is available for all units, schools, and departments, most of whom already take advantage of its features

Enterprise AD also provides a centralized authoritative repository of information about network-based resources (such as computers, printers, applications, and file shares). It simplifies the management of these resources while controlling who can access them.

Users in departments that take advantage of Enterprise AD are able to access all network-based resources using their University Computing Account username and password. (You may have heard this referred to as “single sign-on access.”) Enterprise AD enhances network security by centrally managing and standardizing a number of important security functions, including:

  • Account provisioning: determines who receives a University Computing Account
  • Account lifecycle: determines when an account is activated and, more importantly, ensures it is deactivated when it is no longer needed
  • Monitoring: helps to identify unusual or potentially harmful account activity
  • Logging: provides important historical information about accounts and devices (often useful in investigating computers that have been compromised)

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to our FAQ page for answers to the most commonly asked questions about Enterprise Active Directory.

Single Sign-On: InCommon Federation/ Shibboleth

Your University Computing Account not only provides you with access to information and resources at Pitt; it can also grant you access to valuable information at other institutions and government agencies. Using only your University Computing Account, you can currently access resources from:

This is made possible by the University's membership in the InCommon Federation and Shibboleth, which is a behind-the-scenes authentication and authorization mechanism.

How It Works

  1. Visit the external Web site whose resources you want to access (see list above).
  2. If you are asked to identify your institution, select University of Pittsburgh
    If you are not asked, it likely means that either the service to which you are connecting has a means to identify University of Pittsburgh users , or you may have already visited the Web site.
  3. The standard log in screen below will display. Log in with your University Computing Account username and password.

Find People

Find People is an online directory of Pitt students, faculty, and staff. Find a campus address, telephone number, email address, and more.

Tags: Directory InCommon Shibboleth Find People Central Directory Service Active Directory CDS