Microsoft introduced the second beta of its Geneva identity-management server platform on Monday, with new features including compatibility with SharePoint 2007 and Microsoft Federation Gateway.
The announcement was made at Microsoft's TechEd conference, which is being held in Los Angeles this week. The first beta was announced in October 2008, with a final release scheduled for the second half of 2009.
Geneva is designed to be an open platform for providing user access to applications and systems, whether they are located on an organization's own premises or on remote infrastructure. It is based on standards such as WS-Federation, WS-Trust and the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0.
The goal of such systems is for users to be able to use the same identity information to access both local applications and cloud-based services, which have grown in popularity in recent months.
The new beta introduces federated access to SharePoint servers and adds one-click federation between Geneva Server and Microsoft Federation Gateway. Federation allows users to use the same identity information across different authentication systems.
The beta also improves provisioning of identity tokens, introduces a new claims transformation engine and expands support for SAML.
Microsoft said it will collaborate with CA, Novell, SAP, and Sun for interoperability testing on the latest beta.
Last month Microsoft said it was testing the Geneva technology in Washington State schools for secure access to grades and class schedules.