The Next Version of Forefront Identity Manager Is Coming in 2015
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There has been a lot of speculation about the next version of Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager.  For those who follow Microsoft’s product roadmaps, a number of Forefront products have been cancelled by Microsoft.  Here is a brief list:

  • Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange
  • Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint
  • Forefront Security 2010 for Office Communication Server
  • Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
  • Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010


Other products in the Forefront family have been renamed and become a more integrated part of another product.   A few examples of this are:

  • Forefront Online Protection for Exchange has become Exchange Online Protection which is part of Office 365
  • Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 has become System Center Endpoint Protection 2013 which is part of System Center 2013


The large number of changes with the Forefront family of products has led to speculation about the future of Forefront Identity Manager.  The product itself has already gone through numerous name and branding changes.  Here is a brief history:

1997 Microsoft Acquired LinkAge Directory Exchange

1999 Active Directory

1999 Microsoft Acquired Zoomit Via

1999 Metadirectory Services

2003 Identity Integration Server 2003

2005 Microsoft Acquired Alacris

2007 Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007

2007 Identity Lifecycle Manager FP1

2010 FIM 2010 AD FS 2.0

2011 Acquired Bhold technologies

2012 FIM 2010 R2


What comes next for a product with this diverse and convoluted history?  Would Microsoft cancel the product completely?  Or would they morph the product into a new brand separate from Forefront which is rapidly disappearing?


The long wait is over.  Microsoft has announced that there WILL be a next version of the product.  The new name is Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM).  The new version is due to release in the first half of calendar 2015.


Microsoft’s approach to the next version of Identity Manager is guided by the following customer feedback and innovation goals:

  • Enhance and expand the available protections for enterprise identity, ensuring the identity infrastructure is resilient to targeted attacks
  • Enable mobile access scenarios from a broad range of devices across on-premises and cloud services
  • Connect with Microsoft Azure Active Directory to extend enterprise identity to a range of SaaS applications
  • Deliver easy-to-deploy end-to-end scenarios that complement investments in Windows, Office, Microsoft Azure, and Active Directory with end user self-service, delegation and configurable policies


Microsoft has three major investment areas for this release of Identity Manager:

  • Hybrid scenarios that leverage cloud-based services delivered in Microsoft Azure, including Multi-Factor Authentication, Azure Active Directory application integration, analytics and reporting
  • Support for the latest platforms and mobile devices with modern user interfaces
  • Improved security with additional controls, analytics and auditing of administrative and privileged user identities and their access to Active Directory, Windows Server and applications


If you are looking for advice and guidance on the current version of FIM of the next version called Microsoft Identity Manager, please contact Kloud solutions at the following URL:



FIM, Identity and Access Management
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