Don Schmidt recently posted this valuable entry announcing the publication of the IBM/Microsoft whitepaper “Understanding WS-Federation“:

Yesterday a White Paper, Understanding WS-Federation, was jointly published by IBM and Microsoft.  The primary goal of this paper is to promote an appreciation for the functional scope of the revised publication of WS-Federation.  As I have stated in previous posts, the scope of this specification extends far beyond the features delivered in first generation WS-Federation products, such as, Active Directory Federation Services v1.

The paper includes two use cases, an Enterprise “request for proposal” scenario and a Healthcare “emergency room treatment” scenario, that highlight key new features of WS-Federation 1.1.   Textual descriptions of the scenarios are annotated with sample XML message flows.

Another goal of this paper is to encourage participation in the OASIS WSFED TC.  Hopefully WS-Federation supporters and critics, alike, will find functionality that they care about, and be wiling to join in the open standards process for WS-Federation 1.1.

Very valuable reading for anyone wanting to understand the capabilities of WS-Federation, its relationship to WS-Trust, and the Security Token Service (STS) model.

And then in Don’s classic gracious style, he wrote the post “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants“, giving credit where credit is due, and asking for broad community participation in the OASIS WSFED TC. I highly recommend it as well.