This page has a brief description of the major components of a Janssen deployment.

  1. Auth Server: This component is the OAuth Authorization Server, the OpenID Connect Provider, the UMA Authorization Server--this is the main Internet facing component of Janssen. It's the service that returns tokens, JWT's and identity assertions. This service must be Internet facing.

  2. Database: Like most IAM platforms, Janssen requires some kind of persistence service to store configuration and other entity data (client, person, scope, attribute, FIDO device, etc.) As different databases are good for different deployments, Janssen supports a number of options: OpenDJ, MySQL, Postgres, Couchbase, Google Spanner, and Amazon Aurora. Other databases may be added in the future.

  3. Cache: Getting data from a disk is still the slowest part of any web platform. If you want higher transaction speeds, one strategy is to use a memory cache instead of the disk (i.e. database). Janssen was designed to store short lived objects in the cache, like the code in the OpenID code flow (which is only used one time) or access tokens, which only live for a few minutes. Currently Janssen has three options for cache: in-memory, which is suitable only for one node VM deploymetns; redis which is probably your best option; and memcached which you should use if a Redis cache service is not available (and tends to have more cache misses under high volume).

  4. Key Management Janssen does a lot of cryptographic signing and encryption. Where you store the private keys has an impact on the security of your Janssen platform. For cloud deployments, many providers are providing key storage as a service. You could also use the file system or an HSM.

  5. FIDO2: This component provides the server side endpoints to enroll and validate devices that use FIDO. It provides both FIDO U2F (register, authenticate) and FIDO 2 (attestation, assertion) endpoints. This service must be internet facing.

  6. Config API: The API to configure the auth-server and other components is consolidated in this component. This service should not be Internet-facing.

  7. SCIM: SCIM is JSON/REST API to manage user data. Use it to add, edit and update user information. This service should not be Internet facing.

  8. CLI: While you can use curl to call the Config API, CLI is a command line tool that provides a simple single line options for configuration. In the background, it is just calling the Config API. To authenticate, you'll use the OAuth Device flow. The CLI need not be on the same server as any of the components (you can run it from your desktop). But you will need network connectivity to the Config API and the Auth Server.

  9. TUI: An menu-driven interactive tool for configuration, the "TUI" or "text user interface" might resemble an 90's BIOS configuration, but it gets the job done without the need for a web browser. Like the CLI, you can run it from anywhere, but need connectivity to the Config API and Auth Server. The TUI writes a "CLI log"--the one liner you could have executed to do whatever you just did in the interface. This will help you if you want to script stuff later on.

  10. Jans Core: This library has code that is shared across several janssen projects. You will most likely need this project when you build other Janssen components.

  11. Jans ORM: This is the library for persistence and caching implementations in Janssen. Currently, LDAP and Couchbase are supported. RDBMS is coming soon.

  12. Agama: The Agama module offers an alternative way to build authentication flows in Janssen Server. With Agama, flows are coded in a DSL (domain specific language) designed for the sole purpose of writing web flows.

  13. Setup: Configuring a Janssen Auth Server platform is complicated. How do you generate the keys and certificates? How do you generate the minimal data set to start your system. The setup component helps you bootstrap a minimal system.

Last update: 2024-01-30
Created: 2022-07-21