The Fedlet Lives!!!

If you're following OpenSSO at all, you can't have failed to notice the recent buzz around the Fedlet - from Daniel (complete with screencast), Eve Mark D, Mark H, Tatsuo, Derrick, Marina and Daniel at Sun to Coté at RedMonk and Enrico at Tenthline.

Briefly, the 'Fedlet' is a package that a SAML 2.0 identity provider can create to quickly federation-enable a small service provider. The idea is that, if you're running a single web application, you're not going to want to deploy a whole 'nother server to run a standalone service provider. What you want is a little package of code and configuration to federation-enable your web app. You want the Fedlet.

I've been wrapped up in demos and travel for the past month or so, so I haven't had much of a chance to play with the Fedlet. Since I'm planning to demo it in my session at CommunityOne on Monday, I thought I'd better do so - I set aside this afternoon to get it working. Turns out I was a little pessimistic there - here's what I did, in less than an hour:

  • Update from OpenSSO CVS (cvs -q update -dP)
  • Cleaned out previous build detritus and built the WAR file (ant clean && ant server-war)
  • Deployed onto Glassfish (don't forget to change GF's -client JVM option to -server, as detailed in the release notes!)
  • Pointed Flock (my preferred web browser du jour) at the newly deployed OpenSSO at http://demo.example.com:8000/opensso (I alias demo.example.com to 127.0.0.1 in /etc/hosts), configured OpenSSO to use the embedded OpenDS instance for its configuration and user stores.
  • Logged in as amadmin, created a SAML 2.0 identity provider and a Fedlet.
  • Unzipped the Fedlet, deployed it into Glassfish.
  • Ran the Federation validator to check that SSO is operational.
  • And...

When you spend your time in the weeds of a project, you always half expect any given step to fail due to some issue or another. Perhaps some recent fix destabilized something; perhaps some errant process has eaten my laptop's memory; whatever. So it was extremely gratifying when all of the above passed off without a hitch. I won't tell you what I muttered under my breath as the federation validator completed and gave me the thumbs up, but the second word was "cool!"

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