Shibboleth Architecture

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Shibboleth - An Open Source Project

Shibboleth is an open source project of the Shibboleth Consortium that was originally initiated by Internet2 as part of their middleware activity.

Key concepts of Shibboleth are:

  • Federated authentication
  • Access control based on attributes
  • Privacy management
  • A framework for multiple, scaleable trust and policy sets (federations)
  • A standard (yet extensible) attribute value vocabulary

Shibboleth has been chosen as the architecture to use for the SWITCHaai project after an evaluation and a pilot phase that started in 2003.

The official Shibboleth 2.x documentation links to installation and configuration guides on the Shibboleth Wiki.
However, for deployment of Shibboleth within the SWITCHaai federation, follow the SWITCHaai specific deployment information.

Shibboleth builds on SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language), which is an OASIS standard. Read the SAML2 Technical Overview document to get an idea. Also, have a look at the AAI Demo using the Shibboleth technology.