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Microsoft officially names Geneva project

Identity platform due by end of year

By , Network World
July 13, 2009 05:21 PM ET

Network World - Microsoft Monday unveiled the names of the pieces that will make up its single sign-on platform that was formerly named Geneva.

Geneva Server, formerly called Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) 2.0, will go back to the ADFS name. The Geneva Framework, formerly called Zermatt, will be called the Windows Identity Foundation, which matches naming conventions for other Windows sub-systems such as Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Presentation Foundation.

The moniker for Windows Cardspace will not change.

The Geneva platform comprises three components and is the foundation for a claims-based access model and Security Token Service (STS) technology that Microsoft has been developing over the past few years as part of its industry effort to create a single identity system based on standard protocols.  

This is the second name change for the Geneva components and Microsoft says these names will be the official ones when Geneva ships before the end of this year.

Microsoft shipped Beta 2 of the Geneva platform on May 11. 

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The moniker for Windows Cardspace will not change.

Also part of the Geneva platform is the Microsoft Service Connector, the Microsoft Federation Gateway and the .Net Access Control Service, which are designed to create a sort of identity backbone and connection to the cloud, specifically Azure.

Geneva Server is an STS that augments Active Directory and installs on a domain controller or a server on the network. Geneva lets companies with Active Directory extend it to create single sign-on between local network resources and cloud services.

The Geneva Framework is an extension to the .Net Framework 3.5 that helps developers more easily build applications that incorporate a claims-based identity model for authentication/authorization. The framework and the STS technology are building toward Microsoft’s ultimate goal of an "identity bus." 

The goal is to create a standards-based way to share "claims" and to connect with cloud-based services from Microsoft or other providers. Claims are a set of statements that identify a user and provide specific information such as title or purchasing authority.

One of the most significant additions to Geneva Beta 2 was support for the SAML 2.0 protocol. Microsoft had supported the SAML token format as part of its Identity MetaSystem, which is the foundation of the Geneva project. The platform also supports WS-Federation, WS-Trust.

Microsoft also announced that Stirling, the next version of the Forefront Security Suite– will be officially known as Forefront Protection Suite.

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