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Subject: RE: [saml-dev] End to end scenario

> I have a SOAP service that requires authenticated access, one of the
> ways to get authenticated access is to send a SAML assertion in a
> WS-Security header (as per
> pec/html/ws-security-xml-tokens.asp) In this case does the SAML
> assertion follow the same pattern as the browser/POST profile ?, i.e.
> there's a bearer confirmationmethod ?

There is no SSTC-documented profile defined for the scenario you describe,
therefore the answer is potentially yes or no. You could use bearer, or
anything else you like.

> Can I just do a samlp:AuthenticationQuery to a local SAML server to
> obtain the assertion to send in the SOAP message to our server ? 

Not if you follow the spec, no. There is no non-browser profile for how you
would obtain an assertion because there was no other use case profiled. The
bootstrap process is missing, essentially, but AuthenticationQuery is not
that process.

> It seems like the browser/POST profile does a good job of tackling web
> apps, but there doesn't seem to be an equivilent for web services, is
> there some document/profile I'm missing, or is this something that'll
> get covered in SAML 2.0 ?

You're not missing anything. And, no, there is no profile in the current
drafts for 2.0 that specifically addresses your use case. There is a
significantly increased set of potential building blocks for the use case,
one piece being an AuthnRequest protocol message that is defined to act as a
authenticated request to obtain an authn assertion. However, it's a fairly
wide-open message with a lot of optionality, and doing it interoperably for
a web service would require a more detailed profile, or set of rules to

One place you might look, if for no other reason than because it illustrates
the options involved, is the Liberty Alliance WSF security mechanisms
specification, which builds on SAML 1.1 and the WSS SAML profile to define
the kinds of things you're talking about. There's a companion spec in WSF
that describes a SOAP authentication service architected around SASL that is
another example of how one might authenticate a SOAP client and get back a
token like a SAML assertion.



-- Scott

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