Microsoft's new directory-federation services finally ready to roll

Microsoft's new directory-federation services finally ready to roll

Summary: Microsoft is poised to announce the release to the Web (RTW) of its "Geneva" Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). ADFS 2.0, codenamed "Geneva," is part of Microsoft's identity/security platform, as well as of its Azure cloud operating environment.

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Microsoft is poised to announce the release to the Web (RTW) of its "Geneva" Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). ADFS 2.0, codenamed "Geneva," is part of Microsoft's identity/security platform, as well as of its Azure cloud operating environment. ADFS, a Windows Server component, provides Web single-sign-on (SSO) technologies to authenticate a user to multiple Web applications. The ADFS 2.0 technology is part of the Azure Services layer, company officials have said, given ADFS is designed to allow users to employ single sign-on across both cloud-hosted and on-premises applications.

John Fontana -- former Network World journalist turned Ping Identity evangelist -- blogged about the pending ADFS release on April 28. Microsoft officials confirmed the due date. According to a company spokesperson, "“The general availability for ADFS 2.0 for customers is imminent – within the next few weeks.”

(Update: Fontana says the exact RTW date is likely May 5.)

As Fontana noted, the new release of ADFS is about a year behind schedule. It is part of Microsoft's broader federation platform, also codenamed Geneva. (Other elements of the broader platform include the Windows Identity Foundation and CardSpace technologies.)

Microsoft has hit a number of bumps on its road to providing integrated security and identity technologies. Last week, Microsoft officials admitted that the company has decided to scrap the Forefront Protection Manager (FPM) application that was a key component of its Forefront "Stirling" family of enterprise products.

A year ago, Microsoft was touting FPM as an integrated console that would provide admins with an easier way to manage their multiple enterprise security wares. But last week, a company spokesperson explained Microsoft's decision to drop FPM by claiming, "There is really no need for security vendors to place management on customers to serve a narrow purpose – they are tooling their products around security with systems and application management (as seen with Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune). "

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Security, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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