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Subject: AttributeDesignator vs Attribute

Maybe this is coming too late, but it occurs to me that there are use cases
where a requester (or metadata, or some other vehicle) might want to
communicate not only a set of SAML Attribute names but also include values
as input to the SAML responder or a profile, or whatever.

I can see this obviously slides close to a number of slopes, such as
expressing access policy, doing complex attribute queries, etc, but I'm
wondering if we don't gain some measure of actual simplification by
eliminating AttributeDesignator and just using Attribute consistently as a
means of identifying attributes or optionally their values.

I don't see that much room for confusion in this except in terms of defining
matching rules, but that's likely to be an attribute-specific sort of thing
anyway, and not anything to be addressed by SAML.

An example use case for this is the case of an attribute that has a large
number of values but only a small number (possibly just one) are of interest
to a consumer. Metadata or an AttributeQuery could express this by just
including the AttributeValue, something you can't do today because of the
separate designator element.

Failing this idea, I'd want to propose putting Attribute instead of
AttributeDesignator into metadata to support that use case, but thought it
was worth asking about in general.

-- Scott

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