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Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is a Microsoft identity and access management solution that provides single sign-on (SSO) and identity federation capabilities. It allows users to access multiple applications and services using a single set of credentials, enhancing security and simplifying user authentication across different systems.
Key features of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) include:
Single Sign-On (SSO): ADFS enables users to authenticate once and then access multiple applications and services without needing to log in again. This streamlines the user experience and reduces the need for multiple sets of credentials.
Identity Federation: ADFS facilitates trust-based identity federation between organizations. It allows users from different organizations (partners, suppliers, customers) to access each other's applications using their own organization's credentials.
Security and Authentication: ADFS employs various authentication methods, including username/password, smart cards, and multi-factor authentication, to ensure secure access to applications and services.
Claims-Based Authentication: ADFS uses claims-based authentication, where users' identity attributes (claims) are exchanged between parties to establish trust and grant access.
Token-Based Authorization: ADFS issues security tokens (such as Security Assertion Markup Language or SAML tokens) that contain user identity information and access permissions. These tokens are used to verify user identity and authorize access to resources.
Web-Based SSO: ADFS can provide SSO for web applications, allowing users to access web resources without entering their credentials repeatedly.
Integration with Active Directory: ADFS integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Active Directory, allowing organizations to leverage their existing user identity store for authentication and authorization.
Cross-Platform Support: While primarily a Microsoft technology, ADFS can be used to provide SSO and identity federation for non-Microsoft applications and platforms as well.
ADFS is commonly used in enterprise environments to enable secure access to cloud applications, partner networks, and other systems. It enhances user convenience by reducing the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords while maintaining security through trusted identity and token-based authentication mechanisms.