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The Incommon Federation and research and education (R&E) identity federations worldwide rely on the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) to perform federated authentication and access management. 

The SAML metadata standard belongs to the family of SAML standards. A SAML metadata document describes a SAML deployment such as an Identity Provider or a Service Provider. Deployments share metadata via federation-operated metadata registries to establish a baseline of trust and interoperability.

In addition the main SAML metadata standard, InCommon and the global R&E federation community also rely on a number of metadata extensions such as SAML V2.0 Metadata Extension for Entity Attributes and SAML V2.0 Metadata Extensions for Login and Discovery User Interface Version 1.0 (MDUI) to improve interoperability. 

When interoperating with services registered in the Incommon Federation, you'll need to publish your Identity Provider (IdP) or Service Provider (SP) metadata using Federation Manager.

A note to system administrators: This published metadata is what your fellow Incommon Federation participants rely on to locate and integrate with your IdP or SP. A copy of metadata that may reside on your server has no bearing on interoperation within the Incommon Federation.

Using Federation Manager to manage your SAML metadata