Last Tested: Jun 24, 2019
Loads of applications will understand it, regardless of the provider because there’s a standardized protocol that all SAML works off of (think of a world where there’s one SQL dialect instead of several slightly different ones that work off the same ideas).
SAML is used to provide a single point of authentication at a secure identity provider, meaning that user credentials never leave the firewall boundary, and then SAML is used to assert the identity to others. This means there are fewer places for identities to be breached or stolen. SAML also provides a strong layer of security by leveraging Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to protect the asserted identities against attempted attacks.
SAML provides the ability for users to securely access multiple applications with a single set of credentials entered once. This is the foundation of federation and also of single sign-on (SSO). Using SAML, users can seamlessly access multiple applications, allowing them to conduct business faster and more efficiently.
Sources / Additional Reading: