Updated 4/2/2018 – This blog post was quite old (over 4 years) and when I read it through I noticed that I definitely needed to update this one.

You can establish federation between two partner organization when both of the organizations deploy at least one ADFS federation server. In my demo environment I have two separate environments, feta.fi and monae.info.

The party holding account can be referred as Account STS (STS-A / monae.info) and the party serving actual application is referred as resource STS (STS-R / feta.fi). Example picture from such environment below


All pictures are from test my test lab and both domains are located at same VLAN. Referring to Microsoft in real world “No communication occurs over the network between the account Federation Service and the resource Federation Service”.

Pre-requirements for creating federation trusts are:
1. Two forest (feta.fi & monae.info in my case)
2. At least 1 AD FS Server in both forests or other 3th party Idp provider
3. Claims aware application. I’m not a coder and find some application from Web which was used in lab. Link to application is here. Link forwards you to PFE blog where is guidance how to build test lab with claims aware application. There is a script which build application and IIS settings automatically for you, quite nice:)

First step is to create Relaying Party trust between ADFS and application. In STS-A (feta.fi) select

  • Relying party trust from Account STS (STS-A)
  • Add Relaying Party Trust


Selection of Claims aware or non-claims aware application



Import metadata from url or manually from file. My test application is using self-signed certificate and I’m importing metadata from a file to ADFS.


Specify name for application



Choose Access Control Policy – this section is slightly different than in W2012R2. As seen I have created custom ACP’s for ADFS but in this case I’m using default “permit everyone” and not doing authorization check at ADFS level.



Configure advanced settings if needed and press finish, claims rule wizard opens but it can be ignored (defaults are fine with this app).




Next step is to “add Claims Provider Trust to Resource STS (STS-R / feta.fi) so that it trusts to Account STS (STS-A / monae.info)

Add claim provider trust


Import metadata and specify name for Claims Provider Trust (IDP)



If certificate chain is not trusted metadata import via URL fails. Add root ca public certification to ADFS “trusted root certification authorities” console to avoid erroridp-4


Additional settings – not needed in this scenario



Both IDP’s are in place, home realm and fs.monae.info



Test SSO from Account and Resource domains

Now I have configured Relaying Party trusts between feta.fi ADFS and application. Claims provider trust is also in place make application work from account domain (monae.info).

From account (STS-A / monae.info) domain

I used Windows 8 for testing and application is asking forms based authentication because I’m coming from Extranet based on sts.feta.fi AD FS authentication settings.





From resource domain (STS-R / feta) to application

Naturally inside home realm SSO is working as expected and my test user is accessing application directly without any logon prompts when navigating to https://claimapp.feta.fi. Because application has self-signed certificate warning will be prompted if it’s not added to trusted store. Don’t forget to configure your IE to trust site either local intranet zone.


I wrote this blog because it was extremely difficult to collect necessary information to create own test lab with claims aware application. Hope this helps!

Sidenote, if you are facing authentication problems like I did check your webconfig file configuration

In first login I faced authentication error about missing thumbprint and name which has to be misconfiguration in webconfig file in application itself.


I added token-signing certificate thumbprint and STS name to webconfig file where they were missing from some reason


And authentication was successful