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They seem to be similar on the surface, but I'm not sure how deep the differences are.

Can someone explain to me the difference between SAMLp and WS-Trust? ADFSv2 gives me a choice between these options and I'm not sure which to choose.

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3 Answers 3

WSTrust is a standard which is specifies how to encrypt/decrypt/sign SOAP messages and how to bind security tokens to a SOAP message.

SAML tokens are an example of a security token that could be bound to a SOAP message.

The SAML protocol provides a standard way to acquire, release and renew SAML tokens using SSL to protect communications and the XmlDsig standard to protect the token.

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SAML P is not SAML protocol but SAML Passive, so I prefer you go for this link http://www.netframeworkdev.com/claims-based-access-platform-cba-codenamed-geneva/protocol-transition-from-saml-20-passive-to-wsfederation-passive-70715.shtml

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Does that mean there aren't security benefits of one over the other? –  LamonteCristo Nov 22 '10 at 17:14
In regards to your edit, I believe there are other forms of SAML that ADFSv2 does not support, like Backchannel among others. Siteminder OTOH should handle this. –  LamonteCristo Nov 22 '10 at 21:17
The link is broken : –  Rondo Apr 22 '14 at 23:20

AFAIK, They are similar WRT the end-goal.

  • WS-Trust is SOAP-based involving front-channel (browser) and back-channel (among services) communication, SAML-Passive can optionally use SOAP for backchannel communication,
  • SAML-P can involve no backchannel at all.
  • The XML documents involved have different name spaces: WST vs SAML
  • SAML-P is the name for the process of redirection and communication that achieves the federated login goal using SAML docs, but it seems that 'SAML' has come to be synonymous with 'SAML-Passive'
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