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Fediz IDP

The Fediz Identity Provider (IDP) consists of two WAR files. One is the Security Token Service (STS) component, fediz-idp-sts.war, which is responsible for validating credentials, getting the requested claims data and issuing a SAML token. There is no easy way for Web browsers to issue SOAP requests to the STS directly, necessitating the second component, an IDP WAR (fediz-idp.war) which allows browser-based applications to interact with the STS. The communication between the browser and the IDP must be performed within the confines of the base HTTP 1.1 functionality and conform as closely as possible to the WS-Trust protocols semantic.

The Fediz STS is based on a customized CXF STS configured to support standard Federation use cases demonstrated by the examples.


The Fediz IDP has been tested with Tomcat 6 and 7 but should be able to work with any commercial JEE application server.

It's recommended to set up a dedicated (separate) Tomcat instance for the IDP compared to the one hosting the RP (relying party) applications. Using one deployment of Tomcat with multiple CATALINA_BASE instances, as described here is one option but note any libs in $CATALINA_HOME/lib folder will be shared throughout each of the activated CATALINA_BASE instances. Another probably simpler alternative is to copy your Tomcat folder into a second location and edit its conf/server.xml file and change port values (discussed below) so they don't conflict with the original Tomcat installation.

To start and stop this second Tomcat instance, it is perhaps easiest to create small and scripts that temporarily redefine $CATALINA_HOME from the first to the second instance, for example:


If you're using the one Tomcat with multiple instance option, it's $CATALINA_BASE instead that will need to be redefined above.

Tomcat server.xml configuration

The Fediz examples use the following Tomcat port values for the IDP/STS, defined in the conf/server.xml file. We use ports different from the Tomcat defaults so as not to conflict with the Tomcat instance running the RP applications.

  • HTTP port: 9080 (used for Maven deployment, mvn tomcat:redeploy)
  • HTTPS port: 9443 (where IDP and STS are accessed)
  • Server port (for shutdown and other commands): 9005

Here is a sample snippet for showing the configuration of the above three values:

The keystoreFile is relative to $CATALINA_HOME. See here for the Tomcat 7 configuration reference. This page also describes how to create certificates. Sample Tomcat keystores (not for production use, but useful for demoing Fediz and running the sample applications) are provided in the examples/samplekeys folder of the Fediz distribution.

To establish trust, there are significant keystore/truststore requirements between the Tomcat instances and the various web applications (IDP, STS, Relying party applications, third party web services, etc.) See this page for more details, it lists the trust requirements as well as sample scripts for creating your own (self-signed) keys.

Warning: All sample keystores provided with Fediz (including in the WAR files for its services and examples) are for development/prototyping use only. They'll need to be replaced for production use, at a minimum with your own self-signed keys but strongly recommended to use third-party signed keys.

Once you deploy the IDP WAR files to your Tomcat installation (<catalina.home>/webapps), you should be able to see the Fediz STS from a browser at http://localhost:9080/fediz-idp-sts/STSService?wsdl (note that prior to 1.0.3 the war name is actually "fedizidpsts"), assuming you're using port 9080 as listed above.


You can manage the users, their claims and the claims per application in the IDP.

User and password

The users and passwords are configured in a Spring configuration file in webapps/fediz-idp-sts/WEB-INF/passwords.xml. The following users are already configured and can easily be extended.

User Claims

The claims of each user are configured in a spring configuration file webapps/fediz-idp-sts/WEB-INF/userClaims.xml. The following claims are already configured:

The claim id's are configured according to Section 7.5 in the specification Identity Metasystem Interoperability. The mapping of claims to a SAML attribute statement are described in Section 7.2.

Application claims

The required claims per relying party are configured in the webapps/fediz-idp/WEB-INF/RPClaims.xml. The XML file has the following structure:

The key of each map entry must match with the wtrealm paramater in the redirect triggered by the relying party. The required claims for the different type of applications are grouped in beans which are a list of Strings as illustrated in claimsWsfedhelloworld.

The bean realm2ClaimsMap must be named realm2ClaimsMap and maps the different Relying Parties (applications) to one of the claim lists. This map is required to manage which claims are required for the applications.

The JIRA issue FEDIZ-1 will provide another option to manage the required claims on the Relying Party side.

Configure LDAP directory

The Fediz IDP can be configured to attach an LDAP directory to authenticate users and to retrieve claims information of users.

Username and password authentication

WSS4J supports username/password authentication using JAAS. The JDK provides a JAAS LoginModule for LDAP which can be configured as illustrated here in a sample jaas configuration (jaas.config):

You can get more information about this LoginModule here.

In this example, all the users are stored in the organization unit Users within The configuration filename can be chosen, e.g. jaas.config. The filename must be configured as a JVM argument. JVM related configurations for Tomcat can be done in the file located in directory tomcat/bin. This script is called implicitly by catalina.bat/sh and might look like this for UNIX:

Next, the STS endpoint has to be configured to use the JAAS LoginModule which is accomplished by the JAASUsernameTokenValidator.

The property contextName must match the context name defined in the JAAS configuration file which is myldap in this example.

Claims management

When a STS client (IDP) requests a claim, the ClaimsManager in the STS checks every registered ClaimsHandler who can provide the data of the requested claim. The CXF STS provides which is a claims handler implementation to get claims from user attributes in a LDAP directory.

You configure which claim URI maps to which LDAP user attribute. The implementation uses the Spring Ldap Module (LdapTemplate).

The following example illustrate the changes to be made in webapps/fediz-idp-sts/WEB-INF/cxf-transport.xml:

You must deploy the library for the spring ldap module and its dependencies. The POM of the spring ldap module is available here.

You can add the dependency to spring ldap module to the Fediz STS POM, add the above configuration and rebuild the STS component or do the configuration in the deployed STS directly and add the following JAR files:

  • lang-2.1.0.jar
  • ldapbp-1.0.jar
  • spring-ldap-1.2.jar
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1 Comment

  1. I have difficulties to follow this document.

    Can someone provide the working tomcat and send to me/attach here?

    My email is