The RC1 release of Forefront Identity Manager 2010 (FIM) is available today here. The next version of Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007, FIM 2010 dramatically improves enterprise identity management by delivering powerful self-service capabilities for Office end-users, rich administrative tools and enhanced automation for IT professionals, and .NET and WS-* based extensibility for developers. The final release is slated for the first quarter of 2010.
What’s new in FIM RC1:
· Significant performance and scalability improvements across the product.
· Key feature enhancements, including management policy rule (MPR) explorer and capability to enable/disable MPR’s, usability improvements in the portal and ability to disable batch approve/reject of membership requests if needed. Also, a System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) management pack and configuration migration tools are new for RC1.
· The FIM 2010 user interface has enhanced usability and layout in many areas, resulting directly from RC0 customer feedback.
· The product is now rebranded as Forefront Identity Manager 2010, with a few exceptions, replacing the old “ILM 2” codename.
FIM is part of Microsoft’s continued, far-reaching commitment to enabling more secure, identity-based access to applications - on-premises and in the cloud, from virtually any location or device.
This commitment includes other solutions, such as Forefront Unified Access Gateway, and capabilities in the Windows platform, such as Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 (formerly known by codename “Geneva.”) ADFS 2.0 uses identity federation to extend Active Directory authentication and single sign-on to cloud-based services, hosted by Microsoft or others, so IT can gain flexibility and cost savings but avoid managing extra user accounts and passwords.
Another key part of our efforts in identity and access management is work across the industry to ensure interoperability. Today, for example, Microsoft was part of a Kantara Initiative and Liberty Alliance announcement. ADFS passed SAML 2.0 interoperability testing, meaning it will interoperate with heterogeneous environments and provide federation.
And, also, this week the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is holding its Identity Management 2009 conference. Microsoft is a sponsor and participating in sessions and discussion around helping governments transparently manage citizens' identities and access to information. Lee Nackman, Microsoft vice president of the Identity and Security Division, is quoted in the OASIS press release.
"Promoting widespread use of secure and trustworthy digital identities, while preserving personal privacy and protecting civil liberties, is a critical challenge for governments and the technology industry. Working with government leaders, industry partners and consortia like OASIS, Microsoft is committed to the technical and policy innovation needed to provide citizens with safe access to resources and services, in both the public and private sectors. Identity Management 2009 will provide an ideal forum for knowledge sharing and collaboration in this area."
Making business decisions regarding IT investment is tougher than ever. To help, today Microsoft hosted a special VIP Business Leadership Roundtable event. CEO Steve Ballmer and moderator Robert Youngjohns, President of the Microsoft US Subsidiary, discussed major trends in the new role of technology in the workplace. Ballmer and Youngjohns were joined by a panel of early adopter customers representing key industries like automotive, hospitality, transportation and IT. Attendees got a close look at how real companies are making IT investments across the desktop, server, network and beyond.
Forefront identity and security solutions, and our Business Ready Security strategy, are core parts of the way Microsoft is helping customers tackle these issues. You can view highlights of today's event and get lots of info on the range of Microsoft IT solutions - including a Business Ready Security overview, Secure Messaging, Secure Collaboration, Identity and Access Management and Information Protection at www.TheNewEfficiency.com
Microsoft Security Essentials, the new no-cost, anti-malware service that helps protect consumers against viruses, spyware and other malicious software, will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 29. It requires no registration, trials or renewals and will be available for download directly from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials.
Making Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) broadly available as a free consumer download for genuine Windows-based PCs is part of the company's ongoing commitment to provide a more trustworthy computing experience for all customers. The company hopes to encourage broader adoption of anti-virus protection across the consumer audience, which in turn will help increase security across the entire Windows ecosystem. For business customers, Microsoft continues to offer Forefront Client Security.
MSE will have a positive impact on Forefront products, because it allows Microsoft to capture additional threat intelligence from customers using MSE and apply it to our security research, signature development and protection capabilities in Forefront solutions.
Forefront Identity Manager Release Candidate 1 will be released on Sept 30 - moving closer to final release next year. In advance of the RC1 release, we will preview it this week at The Experts Conference (TEC) 2009 EMEA. TEC 2009 EMEA presents a great opportunity to showcase significant feature enhancements since RC0 including improved manageability tools, updated UI and performance enhancements. We're looking forward to seeing European customers and partners at the event and discussing identity management!
You will be able to download RC1 here on Sept 30.
CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research - recently announced in its computing newsletter that it is replacing Symantec with Forefront Client Security to protect PCs on its network. Why? From the newsletter:
By the end of this year, all NICE PCs will have MS Forefront Client Security installed. This new anti-virus and anti-malware application will replace the current anti-virus product from Symantec. The reasons for this change include the small footprint of the client application, excellent response times for pattern updates and very good integration with the existing NICE infrastructure.