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Microsoft announces release of “Zermatt” Identity Framework

by Dilip Krishnan on Jul 23, 2008 |

Microsoft released a beta of “Zermatt”, an identity framework for developers using the .Net framework. The framework helps developers build claims-aware applications to address application security requirements using a simplified application access model.

According to Kim Cameron, Chief Architect of Identity in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft, the framework makes it easy to do the following

Building claims-aware applications

Zermatt makes it easier to build identity aware applications. In addition to providing a new claims model, it provides applications with a rich set of API’s to reason about the identity of a caller using claims.

Zermatt also provides developers with a consistent programming experience whether they choose to build their applications in ASP.NET or in WCF environments. 

Building Security Token Services (STS)

Zermatt makes it substantially easier for building a custom security token service (STS) that supports the WS-Trust protocol. These STS’s are also referred to as an Active STS.

In addition, the framework also provides support for building STS’s that support WS-Federation to enable web browser clients. These STS’s are also referred to as a Passive STS.

Creating Information Cards

Zermatt includes classes that you can use to create Information Cards - as well as STS’s that support them.

The framework builds on several WS-* standards like WS-MetadataExchange, WS-Policy, WS-Trust etc. and uses Windows CardSpace. The framework is interoperable with other popular web service stacks and also comes with UI widgets and a plumbing to make developing secure single-sign-on applications in ASP.net very simple.

More information is available in the developer white paper on "Zermatt" written by Keith Brown who says that "All you need to test-drive Zermatt is Visual Studio 2008 and your curiosity".

Other great resources to follow "Zermatt" and other identity related developements are Vittorio Bertocci and Kim Cameron's blogs.

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