Monday, May 6, 2013

User Shibboleth for federated SSO

What is Shibboleth?

How does it works & what is the federated SSO?

Install Shibboleth and set up a SP

After we get the idea of Shibboleth and Federated SSO, we can start to set the components (In this post, we are not going to set up IDP components, and assume it is already there).
Install a Shibboleth SP (Service Provider)

And more config info can be found at:

Make the Shibboleth protected resources be retrievable to Java/Grails applications.

The Shibboleth SP is presently only implemented in C++ as a module for Apache httpd, IIS, and NSAPI. So the Java (Or grails) application can not read the SP protected Resources (normally is the authenticated User Info, with Shibboleth is attributes).

However, it's quite easy to use the Shibboleth SP to provide authentication information for Java servlets in a wide variety of servlet containers. 

The info to set up the connection between apache and java servlet containers, like tomcat, and make all SP attributes (authenticated user info) be visible/retrievable by the applications deployed in the containers can be found from the following link.

This tutorial also provides a demo application which can read SP attributes directly by using request.getArrtibute(attributeName). 

For Grails developers, you can install federatedGrails plugin and run command to generate the sample code for Authentication business logic and read it as a reference.

More details about Shibboleth can be found on its project wiki.
For these developers who want to set up IDP server using Shibboleth, technical info can be found on

I hope this post will be useful to all developers, like me, who are working on federation sso and want to know more knowledge in this topic.

********** Step by Step Example ************

There is a full example shows how to install Shibboleth and make the protected resources readable to Applications deployed on Tomcat.


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