Monday, 21 September 2015

Google Summer of Code 2015


Google Summer of Code (GSoC) inspires young developers to begin participating in open source development and gives them a sound exposure to real-world software development (for example, distributed development and version control, software licensing issues, and mailing list etiquette). Luckily, I was a part of GSoC 2015 for JBoss community where I contributed bits and bytes to JBoss Security i.e., SSO SaaS  Keycloak. I was being mentored by Keycloak co-lead Stian Thorgersen.
Contributing to JBoss Community has been a great experience for a newbie like me starting right from GSoC 2014 (Picketlink @asaldhan @pedroigor) to GSoC 2015 (Keycloak @stianst @mposolda). JBoss Community offers awesome projects ranging from Testing to Tooling, Application development to Security, Run time to Web frameworks, Asynchronous messaging to Integration and the Ceylon programming language. Although GSoC is over, but, I will always be up contributing bits and bytes to JBoss community as and when time will permit.
It was my second GSoC summer with JBoss community. I contributed during GSoC 2014 as well. GSoC entire coding period was an extremely elegant and eternal experience for me. I learnt about some of the best practices followed while working and collaborating on a very large code base. Building a beautiful API design, writing high quality code, synchronizing code with a version control system, raising issues on JIRA were some of the skills honed during GSoC in addition to establishing connections with some of the most awesome developers across the globe.
Contributing to Keycloak provided me a deep insight into Single Sign On security. Keycloak is an authentication server that provide users with the ability to centrally login, logout, register and manage their user accounts. The Keycloak administration UI manages roles and role mappings of any application secured by Keycloak. The core concept in Keycloak is a Realm. A realm secures and manages security metadata for a set of users and registered clients. Users can be created within a specific realm within the Administration console.
I had from little to no idea about OAuth, OpenID, Mutual SSL authentication before I started contributing to Keycloak. Hacking on SSO SaaS Keycloak is a great way to achieve proficiency over single sign on security and be a part of the awesome community. Keycloak UI is built upon Angular JS with Patternfly and can be customized. With each Keycloak contribution, I learnt something about security. With regards to Keycloak contributions, I achieved skills in ssl configuration over Keycloak, mutual ssl authentication for user’s and client’s over Keycloak, effective management of admin actions for auditing and monitoring, maintenance of sound password policies etc.
I managed to setup mutual SSL client authentication over WildFly. Similarly, I also had success in securing a war app and assigning application authorization access to the users via certificate roles. Setting and achieving the same functionality with Keycloak is still a work in progress. Keycloak will feature a Certificate Authority which would be responsible for issuing certificates and keys to realms, users and clients. Keycloak will have certificate authentication where in mutual SSL will be enabled i.e., Keycloak would not only check for a valid client certificate but will also verify the identity of certificate owner. In addition, writing test cases for features or fixing JIRA bugs helped in realizing open source software development cycle.
If you love security, Keycloak will surely lead you to the rescue path of learning hell lot of security in and around single sign on. Keycloak truly defines the next generation authentication server for cloud, HTML5 and mobile.

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