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MSFT Identity and Access news: Forefront Identity Manager RC1 and ADFS 2.0 SAML interoperability

MSFT Identity and Access news: Forefront Identity Manager RC1 and ADFS 2.0 SAML interoperability

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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."


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