Microsoft rebrands Identity Manager (again) and delivers new public preview

Microsoft is rebranding again its identity-manager security offering and making a public preview version of a new release.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has delivered a new public preview of its enterprise security product formerly known as Forefront Identity Manager, and now known as "Microsoft Identity Manager."


Announced on November 18, the new Identity Manager "gets your identities ready for the cloud, offers updated support for security identity self-service and enhances admin security," according to company officials.

The new preview allows administrators to synchronize identities directly to the cloud, while also supporting on-premises systems that use and exchange identity information, according to a Microsoft blog post announcing the preview availability.

"Customers can enable single sign-on to an application that supports Azure Active Directory by sharing the right attributes and values with Azure Active Directory to enable those new scenarios," the post added.

The new Identity Manager also offers a customizable password-management option with multi-factor (a k a two factor) authentication and deeper attribute integration with Active Directory, Microsoft's directory service, the post added.

Microsoft is incorporating Privileged Access Management (PAM) and Just-Enough Admin (JEA) with its new programming interface framework, allowing administrators to reduce admin access to specific time windows.

Microsoft officials said in December 2013 that Microsoft planned to new on-premises and cloud versions of its Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) product in the first half of calendar 2015. At that time, officials the next major release of FIM would include new features and functionality in the areas of audit and compliance, user and access management, and hybrid scenarios using Windows Azure Active Directory.

Update: I guess I misunderstood the 2013 posting. A spokesperson told me there is and was no cloud version of Identity Manager; it's an on-premises solutiony only and will continue as so. (Azure AD Premium is Microsoft's cloud-based identity and access management solution.)

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). In 2013, Microsoft also discontinued Forefront Unified Access Gateway.

Microsoft delivered Forefront Identity Manger 2010 R2 in June 2012.

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