Where 2021 saw a continuation of the ongoing pandemic, we saw a continuation of prosperous development and growth in regards to the Shibboleth Consortium.
Early last year saw the launch of our new Shibboleth Consortium website re-design. This more modern and practical design has indeed proved beneficial in the increase of direct traffic towards the Consortiums membership. The new design has similarly provided those interested with access to all membership options as well as the newly added meeting minutes to stay up to date with the board’s monthly discussions.
On the development front, our development team remain at a total of 9. The composition of the Consortium Board has also remained the same, with Internet2, NORDUnet and Jisc maintaining their roles as Principal members.
As the Consortium continues to increase its engagement, the board are in the process of creating a survey to collate information on our future agenda over the next 5 years. The audience for the survey will include current customers as well as those who may be misinformed and those who have veered away over time. The purpose of the survey will be to create an aligned position and guidance for the community for future development options.
Turning to development, we cannot overstate the significance of the changes in version 4.1 of the IdP. Released in early 2021, it introduces a plugin model and comprehensive OIDC OP support. The plugin model allows the core IdP to be smaller, and additional functionality to be added only if needed. It should help increase the speed of feature delivery and enhancements with greater security isolation. The OIDC OP plugin supports the majority of OP profiles and passed the OpenID certification tests in June. Other plugins provide support for Duo’s strong two-factor authentication, and for ECMAscript support.
The lull after the release of IdP version 4.1 allowed the team to work on project infrastructure. Confluence and Jira server were migrated to the cloud. The team enhanced the scrutiny of third party components and improved the integrity of the build process.
Work on the SP continued. A new Docker-based build system gave the team space to consider the range of supported platforms. Rocky linux 8 and Amazon linux 2 have been added, and macOS and CentOS 8 are no longer officially supported. The re-design of the SP in Java is progressing.
In reference to the Consortiums finance and membership position, 2021 was a stable year. Overall , membership has risen to a total of 60 members, gaining a small 4 members this year and unfortunately losing 1. In a tough financial year we close 2021 on a balance of £720k. We are pleased to say that no membership fee increases are planned, maintaining the same fees that were introduced in 2017 and setting us up well for a promising year ahead.
Overall, the Consortium maintained its uniformed position with plans to enhance Shibboleth further to the needs of the community throughout 2022. We would like to thank all our members, partners and donors of the Shibboleth Consortium for another successful year. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has contributed to Shibboleth over the past 12 months, and look forward to working with you in the year to come.
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