Advanced Configuration

Note, this is an advanced configuration feature. Most deployments can rely on the <SSO> shorthand element.

The <md:AssertionConsumerService> element is used to configure handlers that are responsible for consuming SAML assertions; that is, they process an assertion according to a profile, extract its contents, create a new user session, and typically produce a cookie to represent the session.

An ACS does most of the work of SSO for the SP and is the "receiving" half of the SSO message exchange started by a SessionInitiator. As a multi-protocol system, the SP itself is oblivious to specific SSO protocols; each ACS provides the implementation of a particular protocol. The "assertion" terminology is SAML-specific but is an abstraction at this level.


ACS implementations exist for these protocols.  Precisely which ACS is defined the the  Binding attribute.

Common Attributes

The following may be specified for all protocols and bindings.





Location relative pathrequired

The location of the ACS (when combined with the base handlerURL). This is the location to which an IdP sends assertions using whatever protocol and binding it shares with the SP. Each combination of SSO protocol and binding is usually installed at a unique location to improve efficiency.

Binding URIrequired

Identifies the protocol binding supported by the ACS. Bindings describe how the assertion and any enclosing content are packaged by the IdP (or by the browser in some cases) for consumption by the ACS. As an example, the SAML 2.0 specification and subsequent documents describe as many as 4-5 different bindings that all underlie essentially the same SSO protocol.

index unsigned integer

A "tag" that identifies the ACS endpoint so that it can be referenced by other configuration elements or applications. It is strongly suggested that the values correspond to the values included in the SP's Metadata.

conf:policyId namespace-qualified by urn:mace:shibboleth:3.0:native:sp:config
References the id of a <Policy> element in the configuration and causes that security policy to be applied to messages sent to this endpoint. Not generally used because attackers can bypass special policies by choosing the most advantageous endpoint, but allows for more advanced extension features in the future

namespace-qualified by urn:mace:shibboleth:3.0:native:sp:config

one of
conditional, true, false, front, back

See Signing&Encryption. Controls outbound signing of XML messages and content subject to applicability to the protocol involved.
This has no effect with any existing supported protocols.
See Signing&Encryption. Controls outbound encryption of XML messages and content subject to applicability to the protocol involved.
This has no effect with any existing supported protocols.