Federated identity management (or identity federation) enables enterprises to exchange identity information securely across domains, providing browser-based SSO. Federation is also used to integrate access to applications across distinct business units within a single organization. As organizations grow through acquisitions, or when business units maintain separate user repositories and authentication mechanisms across applications, a federated solution to browser-based SSO is desirable.

This cross-domain, identity-management solution provides numerous benefits, ranging from increased end-user satisfaction and enhanced customer relations to reduced cost and greater security and accountability.

For complete information about identity federation and the standards that support it, see Supported standards.