What is SAML ? Easy Definition, Types And Example

What is SAML ? Easy Definition, Types And Example

Cover Image Of What is SAML ? Easy Definition, Types And Example
Cover Image Of What is SAML ? Easy Definition, Types And Example

SAML stands for Security Assertion Markup Language. It's an XML-based open standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between parties, specifically between an identity provider (IdP) and a service provider (SP).

Easy Definition Of SAML : 

SAML allows a user to access multiple services (like web applications) after logging in just once. When you log in to a website using your Google or Facebook account, you're often using SAML behind the scenes.

Types Of SAML :

1. Assertion: This is the core concept of SAML. It's a package of information that the IdP sends to the SP after the user logs in. It contains details about the user (like their username, email, etc.) and any permissions they have.
2. Protocol: SAML also defines a set of rules for how these assertions are communicated between the IdP and SP. This includes things like how the user logs in, how the assertions are sent, and how the SP validates them.

Example Of SAML :

Let's say you want to access an online calendar application (the SP). Instead of creating a new username and password, you're given the option to log in with your university's credentials (the IdP). 

Here's how it works:

1. You visit the calendar website and click "Log in with University Credentials."
2. The calendar website redirects you to your university's login page.
3. You enter your username and password.
4. Your university's server verifies your credentials and creates a SAML assertion containing information about you (like your name and student status).
5. The university's server sends this assertion back to the calendar website.
6. The calendar website reads the assertion, confirms its validity with your university's server, and grants you access to the calendar without needing a separate account.

In this example, the university is the IdP, the calendar website is the SP, and the SAML assertion is the package of information exchanged between them.

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