Gartner Research

Internet2's Shibboleth Focuses on Federation in Higher Education

Published: 29 September 2004

ID: G00203018

Analyst(s): Doug Simmons


Through the Internet2/Middleware Architecture Committee for Education (MACE), the higher education community has developed Shibboleth, a federation framework for Web single sign-on (SSO) with academic research partners, digital content providers, and across multiple universities. In this overview, Principal Consultant Doug Simmons reviews the Shibboleth standard, its current implementations, its relationship with existing standards, and its future.

Table Of Contents



  • Shibboleth's Trusted Infrastructure
    • InQueue Enables Organizations to Pilot Federation
    • InCommon Provides Production Federation Infrastructure
    • Key Shibboleth Business Drivers and Requirements
  • Relationship with SAML
    • OpenSAML—An Open Source SAML Implementation in Shibboleth
    • How Shibboleth Compares with Liberty Alliance
  • Future of Shibboleth
  • Recommendations

The Details

  • Shibboleth Architecture
    • Shibboleth Use Cases
    • Functional Service Models
    • Architecture Components
    • The Directory Connection
    • SAML Trucking
    • Meeting the Privacy Challenge
  • Deployment Characteristics
    • Origin Sites
    • Target Sites
  • Overview of Current Implementations
    • Penn State and Napster
    • North Carolina State University (NC State) Physics Department Resource Sharing
    • Other Pilots
  • Content Provider and Vendor Involvement in Shibboleth


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