Monday, 14 September 2009

Shibbolising Plone 3 - a review

There are lots of Google references to shibolising Plone, but it's not clear how many of them apply to Plone 3 (rather than Plone 2 or earlier). All seem to rely on getting Apache to implement the Shibboleth protection, and then passing identity information over to Plone for it to use.

It looks as if the options include
which seem to have been replaced by
all from (or at least related to) the WebLion project at Penn State. There's a useful page on WebServerAuth on the WebLion site.

Alternativly there are three extensions from Ithaka
which are described in this this slide set and this article.

It looks as if the Ithica solutions actually provision Plone accounts for Shib-authenticated visitors, while the WebLion products give such users 'authenticated' state without creating accounts for them. I can see pros and cons for both approaches. WebServerAuth is being actively developed (last release August 2009); none of the others look as if they are very actively maintained. The Ithica products apparently work with at least Plone 3.0.6; apachepass only claims to work with Plone 2.5; Auto Member Maker and WebServerAuth apparently work with Plone 3.

Note: updated 2009-09-15 to correct the development status of WebServerAuth in the light of comments by Erik Rose.

Note also that the Liberty Alliance / SAML 2 Authentication Plugin for PAS might be relevant, if it's sufficiently flexible to talk Shib.

See also Shibbolising Plone 3 - some experiences

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