Most enterprises today have to deal with various legacy applications and identity systems. It is challenging to make any major infrastructure change simply to accommodate identity federation.
Secure Attributes Exchange allows businesses to quickly implement standards-based federation without having to invest in expensive tooling to bridge incompatibilities.
The Secure Attributes Exchange feature provides a very simple mechanism that enables an application to communicate identity information with a partner application in two different domains. Communication can take place within a circle of trust using the SAMLv2 protocol. This functionality can be extended to support other federation specifications as well.
The Secure Attributes Exchange is a major step forward in the direction of identity federation enabling the legacy systems. Secure Attributes Exchange provides integration points, adapters and deployment guidance that can help facilitate the adoption of federation solutions.
Although the Secure Attributes Exchange feature in OpenSSO Enterprise makes it easier to implement identity federation among legacy applications, a SAMLv2–compliant Service Provider must already be in place. The Service Provider can be OpenSSO Enterprise or any other vendor solution. But even a small Service Provider requires an identity federation-aware software infrastructure in order to make use of Secure Attributes Exchange.
An alternative to Secure Attributes Exchange is to enable identity federation using the OpenSSO Enterprise Fedlet. The Fedlet is a streamlined Service Provider implementation used to quickly and simply enable identity federation. The Fedlet does not require the installation of any other identity federation software components such as the OpenSSO Enterprise server. For more information about the Fedlet, see Chapter 5, Using the OpenSSO Enterprise Fedlet to Enable Identity Federation