AD FS, STS, SSO, Claims, Realms, Tokens, SAML, WS-Federation, WS-Security, … All these fuzzy terms that where thrown at my last month…
The project was to implement AD FS (see title) in our environment.
The single and only purpose of AD FS is to create a “single sign on experience” between applications. Sign on on any website, and you can visit all other websites with that same account! (Only trusted websites that is, ofc…)
There are claims providers for Exchange OWA, Sharepoint. You can use it native in custom and cross-platform applications, on Microsoft Azure and in our case Office 365.
And because it’s based on an open standard, you don’t have to use .net, but you can use Java (jeej) as well! Or even php -> http://code.google.com/p/simplesamlphp/.
As long as your application is compatible with saml, you’re good to go!
So, all mentioned abbreviations also have a meaning! And if you want to know what it means and what their purpose is, read this article on msdn!
A more “conceptual” article you can read: A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control (2nd Edition)
Especially the part about “the airport” explains a lot 😛
And if you want to know more about WSDL, just read wikipedia 🙂