Security

Microsoft's new identity tools

One of the topics at this year's PDC in Los Angeles was identity management. Microsoft has taken steps to ensure easier user authentication by announcing new tools for managing identities and the support for OpenID.

One of the topics at this year's PDC in Los Angeles was identity management. Microsoft has taken steps to ensure easier user authentication by announcing new tools for managing identities and the support for OpenID.

Two new technologies were introduced — Microsoft Federation Gateway and Microsoft Services Connector (MSC). Their purpose is to enable a more seamless integration between the organisation and Microsoft online services. Individuals will be able to connect to third-party services and apps on the Azure Services Platform using their existing identities.

Microsoft Services Connector (MSC) links an organisation's employees' Active Directory identities to Microsoft services through the Microsoft Federation Gateway. The organisations can still manage the local identities with their Active Directory tools. This service is currently in community technology preview (CTP).

Microsoft Federation Gateway is a full release product that identifies users (based on their local identities) and allows access to different apps and services.

Microsoft has also announced that Windows Live ID will support the OpenID standard — the OpenID 2.0 protocol only. It is still in CTP and for testing purposes only. The full release is expected sometime in 2009. In addition to general users, Microsoft encourages library coders and website owners to test the functionality and report back any problems.

Use http://login.live-int.com/ to sign up for an account in the Widows Live ID Integration (INT) environment and then https://login.live-int.com/beta/ManageOpenID.srf for the OpenID test alias.

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