Superpatterns Pat Patterson on the Cloud, Identity and Single Malt Scotch


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 (I alias to 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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  1. Pat,

    It’s always nice to hear from others just how easy it is to do something, and I wish I could say that were always the case. Fedlets look great and I wanted to try them out for myself.

    Now, I don’t have a test environment, and I’m stuck with XP for my testing, but I didn’t seem to have the same luck. What OS do you use?


    P.S. When was the last time you posted about a good whisky?

  2. Hi Bluesheep,

    I’m using Mac OS X – the big upside for me is that it’s Unix underneath, so everything is ‘sane’. Having said that, it should definitely work on XP – I’ll pass your message on and try it on my home machine.

    Last whisky post was – October 2007! Yes – I’m well overdue for another. In fact, I finished that bottle off just the other night, sadly. It was a good one.



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