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Subject: RE: [saml-dev] SAML & establishing an SSO connection

Thanks Scott. That was very helpful.

Is it possible that "account linking between vendors" is more common than you might realize? In the last couple years it seems like every company that wants to integrate with us wants to do it that way.

michael lucas  |  Senior Software Developer  |  Great-West Life 

-----Original Message-----
From: Cantor, Scott [mailto:cantor.2@osu.edu] 
Sent: December 9, 2014 3:10 PM
To: Lucas, Mike; saml-dev@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [saml-dev] SAML & establishing an SSO connection

On 12/9/14, 6:05 PM, "Lucas, Mike" <Mike.Lucas@gwl.ca> wrote:

>Could this type of “establishing connection” be done as a regular SSO 
>login (either unsolicited Response from IdP, or AuthnRequest from SP to 
>IdP and then Response back to SP), except that:
>When the SP realizes it doesn’t recognize the identifying info in the 
>Assertion, it prompts for authentication (e.g. login form).
>Then, assuming authentication was successful, the SP stores the 
>identifying info from the Assertion ( it could simply be random 
>persistent name identifier that was generated by the IdP).

Yes, that's the original Liberty "federation" use case idea back when account linking between vendors was a dominant use case. Much of the policy signaling in the SAML spec that rarely if ever gets used was put there because of that use case.

>Would that be considered a “normal” way of establishing connection?

It's not terribly common in practice because federation has tended to be among organizations operating in more clearly defined roles, and not a consumer thing.

>What about switching it around? i.e. for the purpose of establishing 
>connection, Site B could act as the IdP and send its identifying info 
>(such as Site B-generated persistent name identifier)  to Site A in a 
>Response. Site A would then store this info so that it can use it in 
>future SSO logins, when it is acting as the IdP. Is this reasonable?

Not in my opinion, but that's what SPProvidedID is for.

-- Scott

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