Microsoft released the near-final Release Candidate (RC) test build of Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 (also known as "Geneva Server") to testers on December 18, paving the way for an early 2010 final delivery.
ADFS 2.0 is one of several related products all bearing the codename "Geneva." All of the Geneva products offer pieces of Microsoft's federated security and identity suite of products. Microsoft delivered the final version of one piece of Geneva -- the Windows Identity Foundation framework -- in November. The CardSpace provisioning piece of Geneva also got a Beta 2 refresh on the 18th, according to company officials.
The RC of ADFS 2.0 -- available via the Microsoft Download Center -- adds a number of new features and tweaks since Microsoft delivered Beta 2, according to a new posting on the Geneva Team Blog. Among them are SAML 2.0 protocol support; complete PowerShell support for end-to-end management; automatic encryption and signing certificate distribution; and choice of deploying without SQL Server.
ADFS 2.0 is "big for the cloud and everything in between," tweeted Microsoft Director of Identity and Security John "JG" Chirapurath.
This MSDN Magazine article has more details on how ADFS 2.0 is designed to work and how it fits into Microsoft's identity vision.