Apr 12, 2009

Migrating to the Cloud and Staying Connected to the Enterprise...

Integrating SaaS software with enterprise infrastracture software
One of the major issues enterprise software companies are facing off, when migrating their product from On-Premise approach to SaaS model, is the tight integration that is required between the software and the the enterprise infrastructure software.

For example, most software systems require some kind of integration to the LDAP directory. HR software usually need to sync its organizational tree with the LDAP, and knowledge management systems require authentication and authorization based on the LDAP directory as well.

In most Microsoft oriented organizations the LDAP directory is implemented using Active Directory. This tight integration prevented large organizations from consuming web based software services and forced them to keep their old habits.

Microsoft Federation Gateway
However, things are changing as SaaS gets mainstream. Microsoft with its Azure initiative provided a solution for part of this challenge: Microsoft Federation Gateway. This service enables several Active Directory functionalities using stack of web services. These web services were built on the Web service (WS-*) specifications such as WS-Trust and WS-Security so they are fully complient to major standards and can be used easily in the web environment.
The Federation Gateway enables authentication using a 3rd party directory, retrieving and updating the user profile. Therefore, it can be used as a first step to provide SaaS customers full integration with their existing infrastracture.

I would like to thank Idan Plotnik who is heading a new exciting startup these days for notifying me regarding this solution

Keep Performing,
Moshe Kaplan. RockeTier. The Performance Experts.

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