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Setting up CAS development on OS X

June 19th, 2009

Filed under: Work/Professional

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Central Authentication Service (CAS) is a single-sign-on system for web applications written in Java that we have begun to deploy here at Middlebury College. Web applications communicate with it by forwarding users to the central login page and then checking the responces via a web-service protocol.

A few months ago Ian and I got CAS installed on campus and began updating applications to work with it rather than maintaining their own internal connections to the Active Directory server. Throughout this process we ran into a few challenges (such as returning attributes with the authentication-success response) and a bug in CAS, but we worked through these and got CAS up and running successfully.

We are now at a point where we need to do some customizations to our CAS installation to deal with changes to the group structure in the Active Directory. As well, the bug I reported was apparently fixed in a new CAS version, an improvement I need to test before we update our production installation. Both of these require a bit more poking at CAS than we can do safely in our production environment, so I am now embarking on the process of setting up a Java/Tomcat development environment on my PC. I’m documenting this process here both for my own benefit (when I have to set this up again on my laptop) and in case it helps anyone else.

Read on for my step-by-step instructions for setting up a CAS development environment on OS X.
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