The Ever Changing Landscape of Identity Management

February 26, 2015   //   Microsoft System Center, , , , , ,

Managing your corporate identities is crucial in the hybrid IT world of cloud-connected devices combined with traditional on-premises environments. For a long time, Microsoft has had a versatile stack of software tools to facilitate identity controls, but the products have recently gone through many rebrands or renames, making it hard to keep track of them all. This holds true for the upcoming vNext version of the product, Microsoft Identity Manager 2015 (MIM). Read my blog to learn more about Microsoft Identity Manager 2015 and the ever changing landscape of identity management.

First a little bit of history: Back in the year 2000, Microsoft Metadirectory Server (MMS) was released, which then became Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) in 2003. These initial versions of the product built out the Synchronization Service, which to this day remains a core component of modern day cloud deployments by way of the Office 365 DirSync tool. It is also the “magic under the hood” behind the User Profile Synchronization Service in SharePoint Server. For customizability to interface with in-house Line-of-Business (LoB) applications, extensibility modules could be written using C# and VBS code, compiled into Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs).

By 2007, this small but powerful tool morphed again into Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager Server (ILM) before becoming more well-known as Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) in 2010. These versions added a graphical web portal known as the FIM Service, which extended the capabilities of the product by allowing policy-based decision trees and workflow processes to manipulate metaverse properties. Support continued to be added for connectivity to additional external systems, so identities could be linked across databases, ERP, SAP, Human Resources and so on. Extensibility was further refined by incorporating PowerShell Connectors, which made the product that much more robust.

And now, with yet one more rebrand under its belt, we arrive at the latest incarnation Microsoft Identity Manager 2015 (MIM)! The new version of the product makes big strides in aligning on-premises identities in a cloud-based IT world. Some of these advancements have already been released as part of Azure Active Directory Sync Services, which simplifies onboarding to the cloud and supports advanced features like multiple-forest password synchronization with non-AD directories. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! When the full version of MIM is released, even the most intricate topologies will have a way to unify their private and public clouds in an automated and consistent manner.

SWC has strong experience and expertise helping businesses deploy and manage complex identity management solutions. Contact one of our engagement managers to find out how we can help you deploy your solution!

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If you enjoyed this post from Kurt, please check out a few of his past technical blog posts:

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