Update on Windows Azure + Windows Identity Foundation


New Guide

Back in August we released a guide that explained how to use WIF for adding to your web role SSO and claims-based identity capabilities via WS-Federation. That guide contained a number of workarounds that were made necessary by the limitations of the bits publicly available back then. A lot of you wrote back saying that the guide was helpful in getting you going with identity & the cloud and experiment with the scenario (I believe it was the case here, for example) while waiting for more complete guidance. That’s great, because that was precisely the intent.

Since then both WIF and Windows Azure evolved quite a bit: today the scenario described by the original guide can be set up in significantly less steps, and above all you are no longer forced to implement the unsafe workarounds that were needed back then.

The new identity developer training kit and channel9 training course contain a new hands-on lab, Federated Authentication in a Windows Azure Web Role Application, which contains an updated version of the guide. We also uploaded a standalone version of the lab in the same code gallery page where we uploaded the first guide, so that if you land there via search engine you’ll have the most up to date information.

The new lab is the result of a coordinated effort from the Windows Identity Foundation, Windows Azure and DPE teams. Among the key contributors Hervey Wilson, Todd West & Sidd Shenoy on the WIF side, Mohit Srivastava and Remy Pairault on the Windows Azure side, and Ryan Dunn & yours truly on the DPE team. We hope you’ll enjoy the results!

In-depth info

The lab is designed to give you a quick start and be accessible to as many as possible. However there are advanced considerations that arise whenever you deal with non-trivial environments such as multi-stage deployments and web farms (and what is Windows Azure, if not the biggest of them all?).

If you are interested in going deeper in the topic, I strongly suggest you take a look at the recording of the excellent talk Hervey gave on this very subject at PDC09. That will certainly give you food for thought: I also suggest to keep an eye on his blog.

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