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News on messaging, content control, compliance, e-discovery, data leak prevention
Daily Digest: December 18, 2008
Content Control, Compliance, Archiving, E-Discovery, & Data Leak Prevention

Instant Technologies Announces Competitive Upgrade Pricing for IBM Lotus Sametime Archiving
New Program Makes it Easy to Switch to Instant IMtegrity Archives

Survey of Spam Control Products, and Survey of Archiving Products -- See what others think of these products/services. If you add your own data, we will send you a summary of the findings.

Announcing NorthSeas on VMware
E-mail Archiving Software That Runs Virtually Anywhere

ePals and Privacy Networks Partner to Bring Legally Compliant Email Archive Solutions to K-12 Marketplace
New unified message archive available to ePals Global Community

Essential Enables Easy eDiscovery for Internet Based Communications

Messaging & Collaboration

AOL Launches New Version of Web Mail and Announces Upcoming Availability of Open APIs
New Plug-ins Gallery Offers One-Click Access to Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Other Sites; New Themes Create a More Personalized Experience

Intermedia Enhances its Built-in SpamStopper Platform for Hosted Exchange Security with Commtouch Technology

Blue Coat and Proofpoint Partner to Deliver the Next Generation of Secure Web and Email Solutions
Comment on Blue Coat here
Comment on Proofpoint here

Spring 2009 DevConnections Announced
Orlando, FL, March 22-25, 2009


Microsoft Drops HMC. We've just heard from a reliable source that Microsoft will be dropping further development of HMC, Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. Ie, version 4.5, the current version, is the last. This is perhaps bad news for third parties offering hosted versions of Exchange that have adopted HMC.

If you can contribute further information, please go here.

AXS-ONE Axes Workforce. We hear email archiving vendor AXS-One laid off nearly half its US workforce last week. The company has had very poor financial performance for a long time.

If you can contribute further information, please go here.

Blog Item(s)

Microsoft's Identity Roadmap: In the Cloud

In an earlier posting, I wrote about Microsoft Identity Roadmap.

I now want to look at Microsoft's cloud-based identity offerings in greater detail. These include:

  • Microsoft Live Identity Services
  • The Live Identity Framework (an SDK)
  • The Microsoft Federation Gateway (a Live service)
  • The .NET Access Control Service

Microsoft Live Identity Services is a successor to "Passport." This is the Windows Live-maintained identity services of Windows Live, as opposed to the federated identity services (more below) of Windows Live.

The Live Identity Framework is the cloud-based, Windows Azure (see Microsoft's Windows Azure - An OS for the Cloud) analogue of the on-premise, Windows Server "Geneva" Framework. (see Microsoft Identity Roadmap - On-premise for more details). They are both Microsoft Visual Studio Software Development Kits (SDKs). It is not clear in what ways they differ. Today, a developer would employ the Live Identity Framework when writing a Windows Azure application for deployment in the cloud under Windows Live, and the "Geneva" Identity Framework when writing a Windows Server application for on-premise, or remotely hosted, Windows Server deployment.

The Microsoft Federation Gateway is in production now. It is a cloud-based Security Token Service (STS) that has four major roles:

  • To provide authentication and authorization services to Windows Live Online offerings such as Dynamics CRM Online, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, etc.
  • To provide authentication and authorization services to cloud-based, Windows Azure applications that employ the Live Identity Framework.
  • To employ Live Identity Services (also in production now) as its source of authentication and authorization data and policies.
  • To interface to other compliant STSs, both: to provide them with access to Live Identity Services authentication and authorization data and policies, and to provide access to remote authentication and authorization data and policies accessed via remote STSs, such as a "Geneva"server, a Microsoft Services Connector, or a third-party on-premise (see Microsoft Identity Roadmap - On-premise for more details), or cloud-based, STS.

.NET Access Control Services (ACS) is currently employed by Microsoft in its .NET Services, and available externally as a Community Technical Preview (CTP). An initial external beta will be available in 1H 2009. There is currently no release date! It is a Windows Azure-based STS whose role is to provide access control services (authentication + authorization) to:

  • Microsoft-provided, Windows Azure-based services (using the Live Identity Framework)
  • Customer-provided, Windows Azure-based applications (using the Live Identity Framework)
  • Customer-provided, Windows Server-based applications (using the "Geneva" Identity Framework)

The first two run in the Windows Live cloud; the latter runs on-premise, or on a remotely hosted Windows Server.

In time, one would expect the .NET ACS to be available for deployment on-premise, but Microsoft remains mute on this beyond the following statement by Kim Cameron: "You might wonder – is there a version of ACS I can run on-premises? Not today, but these capabilities will be delivered in the future through 'Geneva.'"

For users who wish to deep dive into any of these offerings, the following PDC 2008 presentations are available online:

... Nick Shelness


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