Microsoft is making available for download the near-final Release Candidate (RC) test build of its "Geneva" framework, the technology officially known as Windows Identity Foundation.
(For all you Microsoft codename trackers out there, "Geneva" is the next version of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). The programming framework supporting the next version of ADFS originally was codenamed "Zermatt," then, later, also took on the "Geneva" codename. Microsoft's Windows Cardspace is the third component of what Microsoft calls "Geneva.")
On November 6, Microsoft released the RC bits of the framework, which are designed to provide developers with a new programming model and software development kit for creating identity-aware .Net applications. According to a blog post on the Forefront Team Blog, Windows Identity Foundation "provides developers pre-built .NET security logic for building claims-aware applications, enhancing either ASP.NET or WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) applications.
Geneva and the Geneva framework also are related to Microsoft's Azure environment, as the next version of ADFS is part of the Azure Services layer in Microsoft's cloud. (Microsoft's current Azure diagrams don't show ADFS as part of Azure, but I hear any new ones we see at the Professional Developers Conference in mid-November will include it.) The goal of Geneva is to provide developers and users with a single, secure sign-in capability across both cloud-based and on-premise applications.
In other PDC-related news, Microsoft is planning to distribute a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of its Oslo modeling platform. This will be the first CTP that team has provided since May and it will require Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4 Beta 2 to work. It's due out on November 17. (Thanks to MVP Doug Finke for unearthing the Oslo link.)