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Whatever Happened To That WS-Federation Thing?

Bobby Gill | May 21, 2011

Well, yes of course there are plenty of things worse than a day spent in Buffalo. For one, I’d say waterboarding would probably be worse. Watching re-runs of Blossom would also come in a bit ahead. I guess manning the toll booth at the I-90 toll station in Tonawanda isnt exactly doing god’s work either.

Speaking of toll booths…

Have you ever had the chance to stop your car at one of the NJ /NY Port Authority toll collection booths at the foot of the NY-bound GWB ?

(that’s the George Washington Bridge for those paying attention outside of NYC)

Toll booth collectors and computer programmers, we’re not alike.

Everytime I stop my car at the GWB toll booth, I get ready for a treat. I don’t know what to expect, I just know that whatever receipt I get for my toll will also come with a “wtf was that” moment.

I can only imagine what the employee townhalls at the NY NJ Port Authority must feel like

My interactions with the Port Authority usually come in the form of a vodoo-dealing toll booth collector, or a racecar-driver-turned bus driver. It really must be a magical place to work.

Speaking of the NYNJPA, whatever happened to WS-Federation?

That’s right. You read that. I remember back in the day, call it 2005, 2006, WS-Federation and all of its sibling WS-* protocols were the shit. If skinny jeans and pabst defined the Williamsburg hipster, well then, a healthy set of claims and a Forms authentication cookie defined the Microsoft-baller.

Really, you couldn’t go 10 yards through Microsoft land without a dog running past you and shitting in SOAP.  I think I once saw draft for WS-Scheduling in the 2nd shit stall of Building 42.

OAuth isn’t really all that different than WS-Federation

But for some reason, no matter how much money, and John Schewchuk Microsoft threw, the WS-* protocols never went anywhere.

I got propositioned by a transvestite, Russian hooker on a busy street, in daytime, in Shanghai.

But I sure as hell have never used Card Space.

In the 6 years since Vista released, there are few things I can say I have honestly never done. And one of them would be to use  CardSpace.

(confused? see here:

Don’t get me wrong. I  had been waiting, with baited breath, to drop a Info card down on some login screen’s ass right up until Microsoft scrapped it in February 2011.

The strangest things can happen when rapping.

Be it WS-*, or  SOAP, its interesting to see how technology developed for the sake of developing technology is left behind. They each were  brilliant in function, elegant in design, yet ultimately cast away as simpler and seemingly more limited technology allowed people to focus on building product, and not integrating with technology.

Should I be embarassed when I click on “Add Service Reference” in Visual Studio?

I used to think that  the 1000-line Reference.cs file generated as a result of a “Add Service Reference” was pretty boss. But then again, I also used to think that Frosted Miniwheats were a healthy breakfast choice.

The drawing below, which shows the WS- stack in all of its composite glory, is now painfully irrelevant. I guess we should all breathe a sigh of release, we could all be knee deep in it sifting through SOAP header definitions.

Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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