The information on this page has been superseded and should be regarded as historical. For most purposes, you should use the current edition of this document instead.

1 Introduction

This document specifies the detailed technical architecture of the UK Access Management Federation for Education and Research (the UK federation).

Familiarity with this document is not normally required for individual deployments; its primary audiences are developers of federation software and operators of partner federations. A companion document, the Technical Recommendations for Participants ([UKTRP]), provides specific technical recommendations for members of the federation based on these specifications.

1.1 Keeping Up To Date

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the software and standards associated with identity technologies, it will be necessary to update this document from time to time to reflect new developments. The latest version of this document can always be found on the federation web site (see [UKFTS]); federation members should review the latest version of this document periodically, and in any case whenever a new deployment is contemplated.

New editions of this and other federation technical documents, as well as other announcements thought to be relevant to federation members, are reported on the federation mailing list. The technical and administrative contacts listed for all entities registered with the UK federation are made members of the mailing list automatically; other addresses can be added to the list by request.

1.2 Document Status

This edition describes the UK federation with effect from its date of publication as shown on the cover page.

1.3 Notation

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

Conventional XML namespace prefixes are used throughout this document to stand for their respective namespaces as follows:

Prefix XML Namespace Defined in
ds: [XMLSig]
elab: This document.
idpdisc: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:profiles:SSO:idp-discovery-protocol [IdPDisco]
md: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:metadata [SAML2Meta]
mdattr: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:metadata:attribute [MetaAttr]
mdrpi: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:metadata:rpi [SAML-Metadata-RPI-V1.0]
mdui: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:metadata:ui [SAML-Metadata-UI-V1.0]
saml2: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:assertion [SAML2Core]
saml2p: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:protocol [SAML2Core]
shibmd: urn:mace:shibboleth:metadata:1.0 [ShibMetaExt]
ukfedlabel: This document.
wayf: This document.

This document uses the following typographical conventions in text:

1.4 Changes in this Edition

1.5 Future Directions

Where appropriate, major sections of this document contain a sub-section called “Future Directions” describing likely future developments in the area under consideration. These notes are provided to allow members to incorporate this information into planning activities.