Microsoft Identity Manager Coming in First Half of 2015

The next release of Microsoft's Forefront Identity Manager product will be renamed "Microsoft Identity Manager," and will be released by mid-2015, Microsoft announced Wednesday.

Designed to tap Microsoft Azure capabilities such as multifactor authentication and Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Identity Manager will be aimed at enabling hybrid cloud support. It also will include support for mobile devices and have functionality improvements in terms of security and analytics, as well as user access controls, according to the announcement.

Microsoft plans to describe the nuances of those details at its TechEd North America event on May 14.

The product name change to Microsoft Identity Manager isn't surprising, but when it does take effect, it will signify an end to Microsoft's Forefront brand. For years, Microsoft maintained a whole family of Forefront enterprise security products, but the company announced the end the sales of most of those products back in 2012, citing market conditions as the rationale.

The two Forefront products that were expected to continue at that time were Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 and Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 SP2. However, Microsoft subsequently announced in mid-December that it was also discontinuing sales of the Forefront Unified Access Gateway product, starting on July 1, 2014.

Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 did get a Service Pack 4 update in late November that added Windows 8.1 compatibility. Despite its planned phase out, the Gateway product still has some life in it, with "extended support" ending in 2023.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.