Skip to main content

Shepherd writeup

Writeup for "Assertion Framework for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and
Authorization Grants" <draft-ietf-oauth-assertions-16>

(1) What type of RFC is being requested (BCP, Proposed Standard, Internet
Standard, Informational, Experimental, or Historic)? Why is this the proper
type of RFC? Is this type of RFC indicated in the title page header?

The RFC type is 'Standards Track' and the type is indicated in the title page.
Although the document is architectural in nature it is the umbrella document
for two other 'Standards Track' specifications that instantiate this document
for use with SAML assertions and JSON Web Tokens.

(2) The IESG approval announcement includes a Document Announcement Write-Up.
Please provide such a Document Announcement Write-Up. Recent examples can be
found in the "Action" announcements for approved documents. The approval
announcement contains the following sections:

Technical Summary:

This specification provides a framework for the use of assertions with OAuth
2.0 in the form of a new client authentication mechanism and a new
authorization grant type. Mechanisms are specified for transporting assertions
during interactions with a token endpoint, as well as general processing rules.

The intent of this specification is to provide a common framework for OAuth 2.0
to interwork with other identity systems using assertions, and to provide
alternative client authentication mechanisms.

Note that this specification only defines abstract message flows and processing
rules. In order to be implementable, companion specifications are necessary to
provide the corresponding concrete instantiations.

Working Group Summary:

Was there anything in WG process that is worth noting? For example, was there
controversy about particular points or were there decisions where the consensus
was particularly rough?

This document has been submitted to the IESG before and was returned to the
working group due to interoperability concerns. The working group has discussed
those concerns and has worked on several iterations of the document to reduce
the amount of optional functionality.

Document Quality:

The working group decided to separate the framework for assertion handling from
instance documents supporting SAML assertion and JSON-based encoded tokens.
Readers who want to implement the functionality also need to consult one of the
extension documents.


The document shepherd is Hannes Tschofenig and the responsible area director is
Kathleen Moriarty.

(3) Briefly describe the review of this document that was performed by the
Document Shepherd. If this version of the document is not ready for
publication, please explain why the document is being forwarded to the IESG.

The draft authors believe that this document is ready for publication. The
document has received review comments from working group members, the OAuth
working group chairs, and from the IESG. These review comments have been taken
into account.

(4) Does the document Shepherd have any concerns about the depth or breadth of
the reviews that have been performed?

This document has gotten feedback from the working group and given the focused
use cases it has received adequate review.

(5) Do portions of the document need review from a particular or from broader
perspective, e.g., security, operational complexity, AAA, DNS, DHCP, XML, or
internationalization? If so, describe the review that took place.

Since the OAuth working group develops security protocols any feedback from the
security community is always appreciated.

(6) Describe any specific concerns or issues that the Document Shepherd has
with this document that the Responsible Area Director and/or the IESG should be
aware of? For example, perhaps he or she is uncomfortable with certain parts of
the document, or has concerns whether there really is a need for it. In any
event, if the WG has discussed those issues and has indicated that it still
wishes to advance the document, detail those concerns here.

Although the document shepherd had concerns earlier with the document, they
have been addressed in the meanwhile.

(7) Has each author confirmed that any and all appropriate IPR disclosures
required for full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79 have
already been filed. If not, explain why?

Yes, the authors (Chuck Mortimore <>, Brian Campbell
<>, Mike Jones <>, and
Yaron Y. Goland <>) have confirmed that they are not aware
of any IPRs.

(8) Has an IPR disclosure been filed that references this document? If so,
summarize any WG discussion and conclusion regarding the IPR disclosures.

No IPR disclosures have been filed.

(9) How solid is the WG consensus behind this document? Does it represent the
strong concurrence of a few individuals, with others being silent, or does the
WG as a whole understand and agree with it?

The working group has consensus to publish this document.

(10) Has anyone threatened an appeal or otherwise indicated extreme discontent?
If so, please summarise the areas of conflict in separate email messages to the
Responsible Area Director. (It should be in a separate email because this
questionnaire is publicly available.)

No appeal or extreme discontent has been raised.

(11) Identify any ID nits the Document Shepherd has found in this document.
(See and the Internet-Drafts Checklist).
Boilerplate checks are not enough; this check needs to be thorough.

The shepherd has checked the nits.

(12) Describe how the document meets any required formal review criteria, such
as the MIB Doctor, media type, and URI type reviews.

There is no such review necessary.

(13) Have all references within this document been identified as either
normative or informative?


(14) Are there normative references to documents that are not ready for
advancement or are otherwise in an unclear state? If such normative references
exist, what is the plan for their completion?


(15) Are there downward normative references references (see RFC 3967)? If so,
list these downward references to support the Area Director in the Last Call

No, there is no need for a downref.

(16) Will publication of this document change the status of any existing RFCs?
Are those RFCs listed on the title page header, listed in the abstract, and
discussed in the introduction? If the RFCs are not listed in the Abstract and
Introduction, explain why, and point to the part of the document where the
relationship of this document to the other RFCs is discussed. If this
information is not in the document, explain why the WG considers it unnecessary.

The publication of this document does not change the status of other RFCs.

(17) Describe the Document Shepherd's review of the IANA considerations
section, especially with regard to its consistency with the body of the
document. Confirm that all protocol extensions that the document makes are
associated with the appropriate reservations in IANA registries. Confirm that
any referenced IANA registries have been clearly identified. Confirm that newly
created IANA registries include a detailed specification of the initial
contents for the registry, that allocations procedures for future registrations
are defined, and a reasonable name for the new registry has been suggested (see
RFC 5226).

The document adds three values to an existing registry established with RFC

(18) List any new IANA registries that require Expert Review for future
allocations. Provide any public guidance that the IESG would find useful in
selecting the IANA Experts for these new registries.

The document only adds entries to existing registries and does not define any
new registries.

(19) Describe reviews and automated checks performed by the Document Shepherd
to validate sections of the document written in a formal language, such as XML
code, BNF rules, MIB definitions, etc.

There are only snippets of message exchanges used in the examples; no pseudo
code is contained in the document that requires validation.