In a year that will be remembered predominantly for tragic reasons, 2020 proved to be a productive and successful period for the Shibboleth Consortium.
On the development front, a significant milestone for the Shibboleth Project was the release of version 4 of the identity provider software at the beginning of the year, a huge effort from the development team. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to testing and feedback. The end of 2020 also marked the end-of-life of version 3 of the identity provider software and deployers are encouraged to upgrade as soon as practicably possible.
We were also pleased to expand the development team, with John O’Brien coming on-board. This brings the core development team to nine, diversifying the skill-set and enabling the project to continue a high-level of maintenance and support as well as being able to dedicate more time to development activities. One area under consideration that will be explored further in 2021 is the future of the service provider software. A working group has been established for this, which members are encouraged to join. Please get in touch via email@example.com if you would like further information.
As the Consortium continues to increase its engagement with and support of other protocols alongside SAML, we have joined the OpenID Foundation, contributing to their ongoing work and enabling participation in the various working groups shepherded by the Foundation.
In December, OASIS announced the winners of the 2020 Open Cup, recognising major achievements in the community. Part of the award went to two specifications which reached full OASIS standard with significant input from the Shibboleth Project and InCommon, which would not have been possible without the funding from our membership.
December also saw the launch of our new website. After several years of a basic and spartan web presence, we invested in an updated, more informative and more functional site; increasing traffic to the Consortium and providing those interested in Shibboleth and how it’s supported with easy access to membership options or other resources for their Shibboleth needs.
As for the Consortium’s membership and financial status, 2020 was an excellent year. Whilst we lost 2 members, we gained 7 and welcome them with gratitude to our ever-growing membership base. Overall, membership grew from 52 to 57 in 2020, spread over 19 countries, and 2021 has started very positively with 2 further new members joining in January. Thanks to this, our financial position remains strong: at the beginning of 2020 the year-end forecast was £602K, however with increased membership and cost savings in development (despite growing the team), we close 2020 on a balance of £707K. This sets us up very well for 2021 and we are pleased to say that no membership fee increases are planned, maintaining the same fees that were introduced in 2017.
We want to share a heartfelt thanks to all our members for your gracious and generous support and wish you a safe, healthy and prosperous year ahead. Feedback on our activities and direction (https://www.shibboleth.net/about-us/) is always welcome; please feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly with the members’ representatives, Wolfgang Pempe of DFN and Davide Vaghetti of GARR.