The AAF Technical Documentation Home

Welcome to the Australian Access Federation (AAF) Technical Information home. We have put together documentation that will provide you with in-depth information and helpful resources that will help you get started.This includes our Knowledge Base that provides additional technical information and a number of email forums that you can participate in to get answers to your questions. The documentation is intended for anyone deploying an IdP or adding services to the Federation and provides a combination of extensible code and good practice methodologies.

Technical Background Reading

See Technical Background Information for general technical background information on Shibboleth and SAML2.

Supported Software

Organisations participating in the Australian Access Federation must install and operate software systems that can inter-operate with other participants. See the Protocol and Software Guidelines for information on recommended software.

AAF Federations

The AAF provides two complementary technical Federations, a Test Federation and a Production Federation.

The AAF Production Federation provides a high level of trust, high availability and is only for the registration of production services. The AAF Test Federation is provided to enable organisations to assess the technologies of the AAF and for software development and testing.

Policy on the use of each federation can be found at AAF Usage Policy 

Additional technical details of the federations is available at AAF Federations.

Setting up an Identity Provider

Guidelines and software to help you set up an AAF Shibboleth Identity Provider.

Setting up a Service Provider

Guidelines to help you set up an AAF Shibboleth Service Provider.

We also provide some recommendations on Using AAF to Streamline Service Delivery


View a full list of the AAF core attributes here.

Background information on the AAF attributes is available here.

Levels of Assurance

Levels of Assurance are an important part of the trust fabric of the Australian Access Federation. Australian subscribers use a framework to describe the level of assurance associated with an instance of authenticating a particular user. This framework allows an Identity Provider to indicate to a Service Provider how much trust is behind the authentication event. Service Providers, based on their own needs and assessment of risks, determine what level of assurance they require in an authentication event in order to allow the user access. Further details can be found here.

Knowledge Base and FAQ's

This technical documentation is supplemented with current knowledge base articles and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. The knowledge base and FAQ's are available at as part of the AAF Support Desk. Further information about the Knowledge Base is available here.

Email Forums

The AAF runs a number of email forums. Details of these forums and how to subscribe can be found here.


The AAF wishes to acknowledge the New Zealand Access Federation, Tuakiri for the use of their Technical Information on which this documentation is based.