Thursday, May 1, 2008


JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language, Standard ECMA-262 3rd Edition - December 1999. JSON is a text format that is completely language independent but uses conventions that are familiar to programmers of the C-family of languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and many others. These properties make JSON an ideal data-interchange language.

JSON is built on two structures:

  • A collection of name/value pairs. In various languages, this is realized as an object, record, struct, dictionary, hash table, keyed list, or associative array.
  • An ordered list of values. In most languages, this is realized as an array, vector, list, or sequence.

These are universal data structures. Virtually all modern programming languages support them in one form or another. It makes sense that a data format that is interchangable with programming languages also be based on these structures.

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is an XML standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between security domains, that is, between an identity provider (a producer of assertions) and a service provider (a consumer of assertions). SAML is a product of the OASIS Security Services Technical Committee.

The single most important problem that SAML is trying to solve is the Web Browser Single Sign-On (SSO) problem. Single sign-on solutions are abundant at the intranet level (usingcookies, for example) but extending these solutions beyond the intranet has been problematic and has led to the proliferation of non-interoperable proprietary technologies. SAML has become the definitive standard underlying many web Single Sign-On solutions in the enterprise identity management problem space.


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