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This page is mostly just used to capture the "broad" picture of where the project spends its time and energe and some of the "big ticket" work items that have come up in the past that have been parked for various reasons.

The best way to keep tabs on the project is through Jira. We do not have a very sophisticated model there at the moment; rather we have issue filters that will show the issues and tasks scheduled for particular releases of the major software projects. Because our code is spread out into separately versioned components, the filters are the only "comprehensive" view of all the issues being worked on or planned.

The Dashboards for the IdP and SP products are somewhat organized and include access to a view of "Favorite filters", but you can also search for specific filters via (just enter SP or IdP or whatever else into the search box).

These are organized by version of course and should include versions beyond current releases to help track what is being worked on for future versions.

The rest of this page is mostly only of historical interest or to the Consortium Board.

Shibboleth Project Work Packages

The following tracks the various work packages within the Shibboleth project.

It provides:

  • a high level description of each work package
  • whether the project is being worked on now or will be in the future
  • estimated completion date of the work, assuming a stable level of developer resources
  • the total amount of time, given in person months (PM) each work package is expected to take
  • the amount of time, given in person days (PD) per calendar month, individuals spend working on the package
  • the relationship between packages

Note, all work packages related to software products include development, testing, packaging, and documentation within their total effort estimates. Total effort estimates however do not include user support time which is covered by a separate work package.

This document does not provide deep technical details of the work going on in any particular software project but it does link to such information when available.

Comments, suggestions, and discussions regarding listed work items should be directed to the developer's mailing list.

Committed Work

The following work items are currently staffed and work is ongoing.

Project Overhead and Infrastructureongoingn/a
This work package encompasses efforts to "keep the lights on" for the Shibboleth projects. This includes attending teleconferences, face-to-face meetings, core list emails, etc. Also includes ongoing management of the infrastructure, and basic coordination among the team.

Standards Development

This work package encompasses the effort expended to participate in, and keep track of, specifications from standards bodies such as OASIS, W3C, IETF, Kantara, etc. We have scaled back our efforts here to focus on development work in recent years.
User Supportongoingn/a
This work package encompasses the effort spent supporting users of the Shibboleth software through the Member-only support mechanisms or in response to mailing list questions from members. Non-member support is not subsidized and not project time.

OpenSAML-C, version 3, Maintenance

This work package encompasses the effort in maintaining the V3 C++ OpenSAML stack (the xml-security, xmltooling, opensaml libraries). This includes bug fixes, testing, release preparation and distribution. It does not include significant feature work.

Native SP, version 3, Maintenance

This work package encompasses the effort in maintaining the V3 Service Provider product. It includes bug fixes, testing, and release preparation and distribution. It does not include significant feature work.
Embedded Discovery Service, version 1, Maintenanceongoingn/a
This work package encompasses the effort in maintaining the EDS, including bug fixes, testing, and release preparation and distribution.

OpenSAML-J, version 4, Maintenance

This work package encompasses the effort in maintaining the V4 Java OpenSAML library and supporting libraries. This includes bug fixes, testing, release preparation and distribution. It still includes significant feature work, as active development continues.

IdP, version 4, Maintenance

This work package encompasses the effort in maintaining the V4 Identity Provider product. It includes bug fixes, testing, and release preparation and distribution. It still includes significant feature work, as active development continues.

Metadata Aggregator, version 1.0


Initial product release of the framework and command line tool. Excludes previously intended Metadata Query Protocol functionality and in-depth documentation.
IdP V4.1Q1 20211+PY

Planned Work

Planned projects are work packages accepted by the consortium but which are not yet under development due to lack of resources or unmet preconditions. When committed work packages complete the individuals working on the completed work package will normally pick up the next project from this list.

The following items are listed in order of priority (those at the top being worked on before those at the bottom). The ordering may change depending on available developers.


OpenID Connect

Java, C++, OAuth/OIDC

2.5PM (Java prototype), 10-12PM (Java comprehensive)

3-4PM (C++ prototype), 16PM (C++ comprehensive)

A GEANT project to implement OIDC natively is on its second official release and will be incorporated into IdPv4.1 after migrating into our Git repository for V4.

SP work unlikely given current outlook.

Second generation IdP Proxy SupportJava, work underway4PM

Add sufficient OIDC and probably CAS support to IdP to handle proxying use cases without additional software footprint. SAML support was added to IdPv4.

SP Packaging Automation20211PMWe need to build an AWS-based process for automating SP packaging, at least encompassing RPM, possibly Windows if practical
SP Redesign2022-2023?1PYThe SP is on an unsustainable path and either needs to be phased out or replaced with a different software redesign that addresses sustainability challenges – see SP4Details

Under Discussion

These are projects which have been proposed but which the Consortium has not yet decided to work on. Most estimates here are highly speculative.


Understanding Shib/SAML Documentation

Tech Writing, SME2PMEncompasses the effort to develop a good set of documentation that explains SAML, Shibboleth, and Federations at a conceptual level. The intended audience for the documentation is those new to the subject matter.

Enhanced Product Documentation

Tech Writing, SME3PMEncompasses the effort to develop a good set of product documentation that explains features more thoroughly and contextually, with examples, and better how-to material that is task focused instead of reference oriented.

Developer Documentation

SME3PM per productEncompasses the effort to develop a good set of developer documentation for extension work on Shibboleth products. Documenting the SP and IdP would be separate items.

Infrastructure Documentation

SME1PMWe have a lot of infrastructure services, but little formal documentation for them, which will make project transitions much harder.
Packaging / Installation / DeploymentPackaging, Containerization, Installer Tools2PMThis would span general installer improvements all the way to possible use of container technologies like Docker. Unclear if there's value in a general solution to that, but various groups have asked or have worked on things like this. Likely also ties into TIER work or requirements.



This work package encompasses the effort to create a new TestShib software package. The current TestShib's registration system was developed by a number of novice programmers over a period of years. This product would involve producing a more supportable test platform and making it a consortium service. This is like to involve more than just programming, but an ongoing investment in supporting it with more than volunteer effort.

Of late, seems to have filled this niche well enough.

Expansion of IdP Integration TestingJava, Installer Tools2PMWe need more extensive coverage of the installation processes and integration tests across different supported containers and platforms, to improve QA.
Token BindingJava, C++2PMSupport for the emergent TLS Token Binding extension in our SAML implementations. This is very uncertain in light of Google at least for now having pulled Chrome support for Token Binding.

IdP User Interface

Java, Javascript
There are various things that the IdP might expose a UI in order to manage, such as:
  • User-initiated IdP-initiated Single Sign On and Single Log Out
  • User-initiated persistent ID disassociation
  • User-initiated removal of attribute release consent
  • Admin-initiated single logout of user
  • Admin-initiated reload of selected subsystems or metadata sources

SP Availability in Fedora

RPM packaging
This work package encompasses the effort to produce SP packages compatible with Fedora standards and to get them accepted into the Fedora project. This has unknown implications on Red Hat packaging. This was a request from the Moonshot team.

SP OAuth Implementation

C++, OAuth3-5PMThe SP supports web service security using the SAML ECP profile in a manner that supports N-tier delegation. OAuth in its typical form is a simpler mechanism that reinvents cookies and works when N=3 (site accessed by browser wants to access another site). The SP could include an OAuth token flow for protecting access to itself, providing another way of hosting web services with attribute-based authorization. In this model, the SP issues tokens to itself, so there are no interoeprability considerations. Either cookie-like bearer tokens or something stronger could be implemented (taking more time), but in practice no clients are likely to support anything stronger.


C++, GSS-API and SASL10PMSpecification of a browser-less GSS-API mechanism for SAML based on ECP is largely complete with stable drafts available. Completion of the drafts depends on implementation feedback. A mechanism would need to be developed in C++ with C linkage to the mechglue layers of at least MIT and Heimdal GSS libraries. Other implementations, such as Java, would also be useful if possible. Some prototype work on this was done by NCSA staff with ISOC funding. This work item refers to productionizing this code under the auspices of the project, and extending it with additional features.

Confluence/Jira Plugins

Javamainly some ongoing maint.Many sites are using various forks of code originally from the project for SSO integration for Confluence and Jira. The code is somewhat maintained for Confluence and Jira. Since the project is running those products and forced to use those plugins, offering officially supported versions might make sense to help defray the pure overhead of running them internally.

Java Service Provider

Java, SAML8PMAn analogue of the native, C++, SP written in Java. This has been requested for a long time due to the deficiencies so many other SAML implementations have had. It's been parked for a long time, and we had hoped to see good implementations emerge, but that hasn't happened. It may be time to revisit this, especially now that some of the code needed has been fleshed out as part of library work for V3. Some older design thoughts around this are here. There has also been work on a SAML JSR, although the state of that and its soundness are not clear.

Office 365 Integration

Java, WS-Trust, OAuth3PM

Microsoft has made documents publically available describing fat-client integration with Office 365 via WS-Trust. They are offering technical contacts to faciitate this work. We have to determine viability and our willingness to adopt non-standard profiles without public change control procedures.

This work seems of questionable value now given the SAML support across most of the applications and would probably take the form of OAuth support if we did anything.

OAuth Authorization Service

Java, OAuth8PMOAuth 2 introduces an infrastructure component for issuing authorization tokens, essentially similar to some of the eventual goals for SAML. We could add this kind of functionality to the IdP. Neither the demand for this, nor the actual use cases, are very clear at the moment.

IdP One Time Password SMS Authentication


This work package encompasses the effort to add support to the IdP for an SMS based multi-factor authentication mechanism. The idea is that after a username/password loginthe IdP would send an SMS message containing a code that would be entered in to a second login page. More Details >>

SMS seems to have rightly lost a lot of supporters given its security flaws. Work on other tech probably makes more sense, and if we did do this it likely would depend on PrivacyIdea to handle the actual work.

IdP Configuration Tooling

Java, Javascript, UI design
From time to time people have requested some form of configuration tooling for the IdP. The suggestions range from command line tools, desktop UIs, and web-based UIs. In general it seems like the most often wish revolve around configuring:
  • Generate metadata based off of configuration
  • Add/remove metadata provider - will support file and URL based metadata and digital signature validation
  • LDAP/Kerberos/Container authentication
  • Database and LDAP data connectors
  • Configure release of attribute to all, or a specific, relying party

The Unicon GUI is convering a lot of this space at the moment though in a highly abstracted/insulated way through the metadata boundary and the MetadataDrivenConfiguration work.

Security Audit/Review

C++, Java
Various open source projects have undertaken formal code audits or reviews for security issues, and this sometimes is raised as a pseudo-requirement for governmental usage. We have a lack of resources/expertise, and no explicit demand/requirement for this. It would also be costly in time.
Elliptic Curve EncryptionC++, Java1PM eachEncryption using Elliptic Curve keys is currently not supported by either IdP or SP and is not supported in either of the XML Security Libraries we use. This would entail donating implementations of EC-DH to Apache and then supporting them in our software. Without this work, it's impossible to fully migrate off of RSA keys. Unclear at this point whether this is worth doing or not, and it's not generally supported by other implementations.

Parked/Rejected Work

These are projects which were proposed but were found to either be ill-defined, out of scope, or without sufficient interest from the project members. These items may be revisited from time to time as situations change.


Centralized Discovery Service, version 2

This work package encompasses the work of developing the next major version of the Centralized Discovery Service product. This includes significant internal code refactoring, changes in configuration files to align with the IdP, and production of JSON metadata feed used by the embedded discovery service.

After consultation with members, the decision was made to park any work on this codebase and allow the original version to sunset with the V2 Java code base.

IdP Support for WS-Federation

Version 1.3 of the IdP had support for Microsoft's proprietary ADFS v1 protocol. This was not brought forward because it didn't seem to be used by very many deployers.

OpenID Support

Support for OpenID 2 protocol along with Attribute Exchange, PAPE, and Simple Registration extensions in the IdP, SP, or both. There is no use case for this work or real interest from the community. An prototype extension was available for the IdP for 9 months and only one site tried it.

OpenID is now obsoleted by OpenID Connect. More Details >>

InfoCard Support

Support for Microsoft InfoCard managed cards in the IdP, SP, or both. There is no use case for this work or real interest from the community. Microsoft has discontinued its delivery of future versions of this technology. More Details >>

Resource Registry, version 1

Various federations have software that devolves management of IdP/SP information to people closer to those entities. SWITCH's Resource Registry is the canonical example of this. People have made requests that such a tool be available from the Shibboleth project. Currently each federation has something that might be considered a resource registry and each is very different so it's unclear that a single code base could ever cover all, or even the majority, of these uses.
Conformance TestingKantara (formerly Liberty) does (or did) some conformance testing of SAML implementations against various conformance testing suites, particularly eGovernment profiles that the project has participated in the development of. Vendors have expressed interest in Shibboleth participating at times, though not recently. There is a lack of demand from our community, and unwillingness to devote limited core team resources to the effort. We also don't support some of the features required by the testing, and do support things we think are more important but aren't part of the testing.

SAML 2.1 Standard

This work package encompasses an effort to update and revise the SAML 2.0 standard within the OASIS SSTC. With the project turnover, we feel unable to provide substantial work toward such an effort. The work at the SSTC has essentially been put on hold due to lack of volunteers to work on it.
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