b) Using the IdP

Using the IdP requires following things from the customer:

  1. agreement
  2. registration
  3. metadata exchange
  4. RP installation (PEP)

The purchase and deployment doesn’t always happen exactly in this order and there may be separate phases in deployment where particular details are clarified back and forth more thoroughly during the deployment. IAM (Identity and Access Management) may contain complex details and it is usually better to split large problems in to smaller pieaces and resolve them one piece at a time.


As mentioned in chapter 2. Project Structure, there is two ways of purchasing the IdP service:

  • as a Service (Managed Service Provider - MSP)
  • deploy your own (Library Customer)

Currently, to purchase your instance and/or library license, contact Sales.


While negotiating of your purchase, registration of your Relying Party (RP) will be mentioned. You will enter necessary technical details of your environment, which form your client entity on the IdP instance. In exchange you will receive details on how to fetch technical details of the IdP instance to add in your deployment.

Metadata Exchange

After administrative agreement and Registration are ready, the IdP and your RP can begin technical Metadata Exchange to form technical trust between entities.

metadata exchange between IdP and RP

Metadata exchange happen very similarly whether your client will be using OIDC or SAML. As OIDC is currently the most prominent protocol, only OIDC metadata exhcange is currently described in this document. Please request for details of SAML protocol metadata exchange if that is required in your case.

OIDC Metadata

Your RP metadata on the IdP instance

You provide the IdP with a set of redirect_uri addresses, which will be stored to your client metadata on the IdP. You will be informed tha following kind of metadata has been stored of your client entity on the IdP:

    "scope":"openid phone",
    "redirect_uris": [

Within your client metadata on the IdP client_id and client_secret are set. These are unique identifier of your RP and a secret your client need to use in order to authenticate to the IdP for it to provide your client with personal data of the users in protected manner. These details you need to configure on your RP. The OIDC Core spcification has also other means of client authentication and other behavioural aspects of your RP that might need be set differently of your client

IdP metadata on your client RP

IdP instance that you will be using publishes its metadata for your RP to consume so that your RP can form trusted and confidential connection with the IdP. As defined in the specification, you can find the IdP metadata from a well-known endpoint. For example, in WeAre Staging IdP the metadata URL is following:


You will configure this endpoint URL in your RP instance. Most often regarding the metadata exchange, you don’t need to do anything else but enter your client_id, client_secret and the IdP metadata URL to your RP configuration and you are good to go.

IdP Key Material


Protocol keys do change. Make sure your implementation can react to changing keys! It is your responsibility to prevent downtime of your application.

It is important to note that currently the IdP has two potential ways to manage secret key material. Here we refer to keys that are used to secure OIDC authentication protocol level message exchange. The keys are either:

  1. Static
    • Static key is defined per IdP instance and remains the same over instance node restarts. The key rollover will be specifically planned, communicated and scheduled with the clients prior the change
    • Static keys provide good continuity for production instances
  2. Changing
    • Changing key is initialised from scratch each time during the instance node warm up. In theory, when changing keys are chosen for the instance, the key material can change any time without prior notification
    • Changing keys are most usually used in development, testing or QA-enviornments. They are not very good choice to be used in production environments

However the key material management is chosen to be done, the RP clients should be implemented so that they rely on key material that is dynamically loaded from IdPs metadata. The metadata document referers to the public keyset of the IdP which the RP can use to authenticate protocol message exchange.

The practice we follow is industry standard of how OIDC is used in the Internet. There are controls to this, but RP client implementor should make extra effort to ensure that:

  • Domain Name System (DNS) service of the client is bullet proof
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks are very well controlled
    • espceially on the platform level of the application

WeAre Solutions test environment is set with changing key material.

RP Installation

Finally, you need an RP that protects you application. Your RP connects to the IdP requesting for user authentication.

It is highly probable that you don’t even need to do actual installation or deployment as OIDC is so widely accepted that the application, product, API Gateway or some other achitectural component already implements OIDC support in your environment.

However, in next chapters we provide some recommendations and examples of a products or software thet you can use as the RP implementattion if you don’t already have one available.

Also, before taking any advice, you should see the list of certified products and implementations.

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