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SAML Single Sign-on

Smooth Surface SAML Single Sign-On

SAML Single Sign-on

Have you ever watched closely as a duck moves across the water?  There is really no way to tell from pure observation how it’s getting from one location to another, but it sure is smooth and stealthy.  In the immortal words of Kris Kristofferson, from the 1978 film, CONVOY:


“My daddy always said to be just like a duck; stay smooth on the surface, and paddle like the devil underneath!”

I don’t remember much else from that movie, but that sentiment has stuck with me for all these years.  It’s a separation of image from reality: a simple way to define being professional or separating the good from the bad.  A ball player makes the majestic one handed diving catch look easy, but we all know of the years of hard work put in to attain that skill level.  A famous standup comedienne easily draws a crowd and keeps their attention for hours at a time but only after many years of trial and error polishing her delivery skills.  How about a professional billiards player or Ten Pin bowler?  They appear calm, cool, and collected on the surface, but did you ever wonder what’s really going on in their heads?


It may just be because I have control over the words in this article, but there seems to be a positive connection between hard working internals and a smooth outer appearance.  The easier something performs or is to use the more valuable it becomes.  Coffee makers brew custom cups of coffee one at a time in under a minute.  Cellphones finish sentences for you and cars can park themselves.  Laptops can now be controlled by touching the screen, and the screen can even be removed for more convenient use.  And let’s not forget all those passwords you use on a daily basis to protect your valuable online property.  Is there a way to smooth that annoying technology out?!


SAML provides a very clean platform for providing single sign-on (SSO) or allowing users to log into one web application with a password and also accessing other sites without having to know or enter additional credentials.  On the surface, users log in once and subsequently are simply directed to each additional URL they attempt to reach.  Under the surface, SAML Single Sign-on’s webbed feet are paddling like crazy to complete the SAML algorithm that performs secure and seamless transitions from web site to web site.


Whether you’re duck watching, an avid sports fan, or responsible for the online security of your company, understanding what happens under the surface will keep you “in the know” and able to make educated decisions.  For more information on how SAML Single Sign-on can help your situation, check out how PortalGuard SAML Single Sign-on is keeping the surface water as smooth as glass while the high performance feet paddle efficiently and securely underneath.

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Larry Conroy

Author: Larry Conroy

Larry is a Technical Support/Developer here at PistolStar. With a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, he has worked for Raytheon, and then moved on to other corporations, such as Kronos, Axent, and Applied Microsystems. Over the last ten years Larry has specialized in improving and growing the support process, previously and within PistolStar Inc.

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