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July 24, 2006

Shibboleth and Question Mark Perception

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I spent a fair bit of Thursday and Friday integrating (our newly upgraded to version 4) installation of Question Mark Perception with our Single Sign On system.

Perception does not support Shibboleth out of the box, but it does have a web integration layer called QMWise that allows external systems to push users and other data into the system bypassing Perception's internal authentication.

A project done at Leeds and funded by JISC has created a Java layer (QMShibb) that sits on top of QMWise and allows you to easily then protect that Java layer with Shibboleth or in fact any Single Sign On system you like.

QMShibb - Shibboleth enabling Questionmark Perception
QMShibb - Installing Tomcat with IIS 6
QMShibb - Installation, configuration and testing

With the help of a Perception consultant we got this working with our own Shibboleth based Single Sign On system sitting on top of the QMShibb java layer. So, hopefully we'll very soon be able to do a lot more with Perception as the old user management overhead has now more or less gone away.

To truely minimise the admin overhead, more work should be done with QMWise so that user groupings get pushing into Perception, but the removal of username/password issues will be a great time saver.

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