Microsoft revamps ID management offering

Microsoft has revamped its Meta Directory product, now called Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003.

Microsoft has revamped its Meta Directory product and renamed it Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003.

In conjunction with its new offering, Microsoft also introduced "Identity and Access Management Solution Accelerator", a set of prescriptive guidelines created with  Pricewaterhouse Coopers to help customers build and test identity management infrastructures.

Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) improves upon Meta Directory Server through the addition of features including automated account provisioning, the synchronisation of identity information, and web-based, self-service password management capabilities, said Michael Stevenson, lead product manager for Windows Server Division.

As part of its fledgling identity management strategy, Microsoft rolled out offerings for Windows Server 2003, which will appear by the end of the third quarter.

For customers wanting a directory service to provide application-specific information toward applications developed in-house, Microsoft announced its Active Directory in Application Mode (Adam). Stevenson said Adam would allow customers to deploy Active Directory as a LDAP directory service for application-specific data while using their distributed Active Directory infrastructure for single-sign-on.

Windows Server 2003 will also include the Identity Integration Feature Pack for Windows Server Directory, and Directory Services Mark-up Language version 2.0 (DSML v.2). The added capabilities will let developers represent directory structural information and directory operations as XML documents.

Microsoft will introduce Microsoft Audit Collection System in the fourth quarter of 2003. A key component of Microsoft's identity management strategy, the product will enable customers to consolidate security event logs into a single location to offer intelligence capable of identifying a users' access.  Microsoft will also announce support and partnerships for Microsoft Identity Platform.

Partnerships with Oblix and OpenNetworks Technologies will help extend Microsoft's reach to cross-platform levels.

Oblix said that its NetPoint identity management software would fully support Microsoft's identity management architecture including Active Directory and the MIIS 2003 product. Oblix's NetPoint product enables user data stored in Active Directory to be used for enterprise-wide identity management on corporate intranets and extranets.

OpenNetwork Technologies is offering support for MIIS via OpenNetwork's Universal Identity Platform (IdP) 5.0. If customers build their infrastructure within a pure .net environment, IdP uses Adam and MIIS for back-end integration to the mainframe.

Brian Fonseca and Paul Roberts write for IDG News Service

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