SAML, widely regarded as the top contender for federated identity management in the masters age group, perished when the single-engine Piper Cherokee it was travelling in crashed into a densely-wooded hillside soon after take-off from Topeka Municipal Airport. Forensic data experts are currently attempting to process the 'artifact' sent out by the pilot just before losing contact in order to determine the cause of the crash.
In a bizarre twist, one of SAML's colleagues, scheduled to fly on the same flight, cancelled at the last moment - narrowly avoiding even greater tragedy. Liberty Alliance, citing concerns over the insurance, declined to travel. Unconfirmed reports say that Shibboleth was also scheduled to be on the flight but was denied boarding after attending a frat party the night before.
The youthful OpenID, well-known on the celebrity party circuit, was seen by many as SAML's main competition. At almost exactly the same time as SAML's accident, OpenID died when the Kombi Van in which it was a passenger veered off the highway and crashed into a sign for a home security vendor. Toxicology results are pending. Also in the van was Attribute Exchange, who suffered severe injuries and is in critical condition at Topeka General Hospital awaiting a token transplant. Police attempts to contact OpenID's partner XRI are being hampered by uncertainty as to just exactly what it is.
Remaining identity specification WS-Federation, when contacted at her Redmond estate for comment, read from the following prepared announcement:
"This is sad, sad, news. Very sad. I personally am sad, saddened even. Even though they had both the market & mind share that I desperately wanted, and were crushing me in deployment numbers, I thought of both SAML and OpenID as true friends. I am completely confident that my friends, now dead and no longer a threat to my success, want me to continue on as before. Consequently, my 'response' to this tragedy is to say there will be 'No change'. Thank You."
When asked about the rumour that WS-Federation was seen in the vicinity of the aircraft maintenance shed in the hours before the flight, Detective Cameron Shaft of the Topeka Police Department replied 'We are investigating a number of promising leads at the moment. WS-Federation and her 10 lawyers are cooperating completely. No further comment.'