Federation with ADFS in Windows Server 2008

Steve Riley at Amazon takes a fascinating and non-ideological approach on his new blog.  The combination will keep me tuned in – I expect others will feel the same way.  He writes:

“As I&#39ve talked with customers who have deployed or plan to deploy Windows Server 2008 instances on Amazon EC2, one feature they commonly inquire about is Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). There seems to be a lot of interest in ADFS v2 with its support for WS-Federation and Windows Identity Foundation. These capabilities are fully supported in our Windows Server 2008 AMIs and will work with applications developed for both the “public” side of AWS and those you might run on instances inside Amazon VPC.

“I&#39d like to get a better sense of how you might use ADFS. When you state that you need “federation,” what are you wanting to do? I imagine most scenarios involve applications on Amazon EC2 instances obtaining tokens from an ADFS server located inside your corporate network. This makes sense when your users are in your own domains and the applications running on Amazon EC2 are yours.

“Another scenario involves a forest living entirely inside Amazon EC2. Imagine you&#39ve created the next killer SaaS app. As customers sign up, you&#39d like to let them use their own corpnet credentials rather than bother with creating dedicated logons (your customers will love you for this). You&#39d create an application domain in which you&#39d deploy your application, configured to trust tokens only from the application&#39s ADFS. Your customers would configure their ADFS servers to issue tokens not for your application but for your application domain ADFS, which in turn issues tokens to your application. Signing up new customers is now much easier.

“What else do you have in mind for federation? How will you use it? Feel free to join the discussion. I&#39ve started a thread on the forums, please add your thoughts there. I&#39m looking forward to some great ideas.”

I really look forward to this.  Let&#39s see where it goes…  

Given the mail I get from mutual customers, I know Steve will end up with some interesting insights.

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