Microsoft Becomes InCommon Affiliate
July 28, 2010
Support of standards-based approach to identity management the goal.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., and REDMOND, Wash. — July 28, 2010 — Microsoft Corp., a worldwide leader in software, services and solutions, has become an InCommon Affiliate.

InCommon is the U.S. trust federation in higher education operated by Internet2. Through InCommon, higher education institutions and their partners offer access to contracted and collaborative services — in a privacy- and security-enhanced method — to faculty, researchers, students and staff. The Affiliate Program provides the research and education community with a way to connect with Affiliate partners, who are able to help build the necessary underlying infrastructure on campus that supports federated access.

“InCommon and Microsoft share the belief that a standards-based approach to federated identity will enable broad adoption of Shibbloleth, other economically sustainable solutions, and trustworthy collaboration for colleges and universities around the world,” said Cameron Evans, chief technology officer for Microsoft’s U.S. Education business. “As part of InCommon’s Affiliate program, Microsoft will enable institutions to connect, share and work in ways that respect the privacy of people and data both on-premise and in the cloud using Microsoft technology.”

The Microsoft strategy for identity management delivers a comprehensive solution to manage identities, credentials and identity-based access policies across Windows and heterogeneous environments.

“Many InCommon participants rely on Microsoft software as part of their identity and access management systems,” said John Krienke, chief operating officer of InCommon. “Plus Microsoft is also an InCommon participant. The company’s support as an InCommon affiliate demonstrates its commitment to the community as the federation continues on its trajectory of growth.”

Microsoft’s identity and access management solution is built on Active Directory, a directory service in Windows Server, and also includes the following technologies and services:

  • Active Directory Federation Services 2.0. A security token service for information technology administrators that is interoperable with Shibboleth.

  • Windows Identity Foundation. These services enable Microsoft .NET developers to externalize identity logic from their application.

  • Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010. This provides IT professionals with tools to address day-to-day tasks, such as delegating administration and creating workflows for common identity management tasks. In addition, FIM 2010 is built on a .NET and WS-* based foundation for developers to build more customized and extensible solutions.

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. SharePoint uses claims-based authentication, which provides support for SAML 2.0 and Shibboleth, to connect institutional identity systems — as well as Active Directory, LDAPv2-based directories, and application-specific databases — and user-centric identity models like LiveID, OpenID and InfoCard systems.

  • Microsoft Cloud Services. With cloud applications available for a wide range of devices, from PCs and laptops to phones, academic organizations can provide collaboration portals, and support long-distance and group-learning environments.

  • Microsoft Live@edu. This is the company’s enterprise-class hosted e-mail, communications and collaboration solution for students, faculty and staff. The service can be extended to an institution’s identity platform for access to the cloud, to enable access to Live@edu services, and provide the benefits of full Shibboleth federation support.

  • Microsoft Consulting Services. This is the consulting arm of Microsoft, which helps organizations successfully install and maintain federated identity technologies from Microsoft.

More information, and a list of current affiliates, can be found at http://www.incommon.org/affiliate.

About InCommon

The InCommon Federation, operated by Internet2, provides a privacy-preserving, secure method for higher education institutions and their partners to offer single sign-on convenience to their faculty, researchers, students and staff. Through InCommon, individuals no longer need to maintain multiple passwords and usernames and online service providers no longer need to maintain user accounts. The educational institution manages the level of privacy and security for its constituents. For more information, see www.incommon.org.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Read More: