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.


2 Answers 2


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.


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'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.