PingFederate uses two connections to bridge an identity provider to a service provider:
- An IdP connection where end users authenticate and PingFederate (the federation hub) is the SP
- An SP connection to the target application where PingFederate (the federation hub) is the IdP
Generally speaking, PingFederate consumes assertions from the identity provider through the IdP connection and generates new assertions to the service provider via the SP connection.
If the SP connection does not use a virtual server ID, the issuer of the assertions (to the service provider) is the ID defined for the protocol between PingFederate (the federation hub as the IdP) and the service provider.
If the SP connection uses multiple virtual server IDs (for the purpose of connecting to multiple environments serviced by the same partner using one connection), for SP-initiated SSO, if the service provider sends AuthnRequest messages to the virtual server ID specific endpoint, PingFederate retains this information automatically. When the identity provider returns the corresponding assertions to PingFederate (the federation hub as the SP), PingFederate retrieves the preserved information and uses that specific virtual server ID as the issuer in the assertions it sends to the service provider. For IdP-initiated SSO, the issuer of the assertions (to the service provider) is the default Virtual Server ID.