The DSX Discovery Service is recommended to be used in embedded fashion because this is generally more user-friendly as the organisation selection is integrated directly into the service's web page. For this to work, the authentication needs to be triggered from a page where an included Javascript provides the functionality to show the embedded Discovery Service. On this page examples for Shibboleth SP and SimpleSAMLphp are provided.

The DSX Discovery Service (formerly known as eduTEAMS Discovery Service) allows services to implement an (embedded) Identity Provider discovery.

Currently, the service is in a pilot phase, therefore some aspects of the service still may change.

This section contains functional and technical documentation on how to use the discovery service if you are a administrator of a service.

Embedded DSX requires Third-Party Cookies for a proper User Experience

Note that using the DSX in embedded mode is only more user-friendly if the web browser is set to accept so-called third-party cookies (i.e., HTTP Cookies set and read by sites other than the one they are visiting). With web browsers configured to block third-party cookies – which is already the default behaviour for Firefox and Safari, with Chrome to follow – an embedded DSX will never remember the selected IDP and it will never show a previously selected IDP. Forcing a subject to select their IDP again from scratch, every time they try to log in to a service using the DSX in embedded mode, is in fact very user-friendly.

Shibboleth SP

In this example we first configure the DSX Discovery Service to be used by the default Shibboleth login handler.

    SAML2 SAML1 

To use the discovery service as embedded version, include the following Javascript in the head element if the web page triggering the authentication:

Including javascript
    <!-- HTML elements -->
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <!-- HTML elements -->

and then display the element itself that triggers the authentication as defined in default handler.

Login element
<a href="/Shibboleth.sso/Login" onclick="startOverlay(event)">Log in</a>

As a result the discovery service is shown as embedded version directly on the embedding web page.


In this example we first set DSX discovery to be used by default sp configuration.

'default-sp' => array(
    'entityID' => '',
    'idp' => NULL,
    'discoURL' => '',
    'privatekey' => 'example.key'

To use the discovery service as embedded version include the following Javascript in  head element on the page triggering the authentication,

Including javascript
    <!-- HTML elements -->
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <!-- HTML elements -->

and then display an element triggering the authentication.

Login element
<a href="/simplesaml/module.php/core/authenticate.php" onclick="startOverlay(event)">Log in</a>
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  1. If you use a Content-Security-Policy, you also need to merge this into your existing CSP:

    script-src 'unsafe-inline'; frame-src;

    The 'unsafe-inline' is needed because of the onClick handler.

  2. Thanks Guy, will have a closer look at this with the developers.