Microsoft's Forefront identity and security family of wares has been through a lot of changes over the past few years. And more are on tap for the next 12 months, officials noted via a "Server & Cloud Blog" post on December 17.
Microsoft plans to release new on-premises and cloud versions of its Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) product in the first half of calendar 2015. At the same time, the team is ceasing work on Forefront Unified Access Gateway and will be removing UAG from price lists as of July 1, 2014. UAG is a product that provides secure remote access to managed and unmanaged PCs and mobile devices.
The next major release of FIM will include new features and functionality in the areas of audit and compliance, user and access management, and hybrid scenarios using Windows Azure Active Directory, officials said. Specific functionality will be detailed closer to the release date.
In 2012, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing a number of its Forefront products, including Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE); Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint (FPSP); Forefront Security for Office Communications Server (FSOCS); Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG); and Forefront Threat Management Gateway Web Protection Services (TMG WPS).
Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) and Forefront Identity Manager survived that purge, as did Forefront Endpoint Security, which was rechristened System Center Endpoint Protection. But as of next year, UAG will be gone, too.
In today's post about the Forefront changes, Microsoft officials said UAG is being discontinued "based on product strategy, customer feedback, and prevailing market dynamics."
Customers will be able to still make use of "select" remote access and secure application publishing capabilities through Windows Server 2012 R2, officials said. Specifically, Windows Server 2012 R2 users will have access to DirectAccess deployment and policy management and the Web Application Proxy Service in the Remote Access role.
Existing UAG users with Software Assurance coverage will get a Windows Server 2012 Standard server license for each UAG server license, Microsoft officials said. Those who wish to continue using FOrefront UAG will be able to use the current release with free Microsoft support through April 14, 2015, and paid, extended support through April 14, 2020.