2008 Directory Experts Conference (DEC) - Chicago, March 2-5

It's hard to believe, but we're coming up DEC 2008 pretty soon. It seems like we just finished DEC Europe!

DEC08 will be right in the middle of the WS2008 launch activities, but instead of focusing on what's new in WS2008 (which everyone has heard about at the last three DECs), DEC08's focus is going to be more on actual deployments and best practices for WS2008, and what's coming up in Windows 7.

Over the last several years, I've been pushing our core directory attendees to open up their blinders a bit and start looking into all the other technologies in the MSFT IdA bag. Its critical that we not get so focused on all the cool things that AD does that we lose sight of the bigger picture. ADDS is a mature and fully functional technology. There will be lots of improvements to AD going forward, but ADDS's role in the enterprise IdA architecture is pretty well defined, and it's not going to change much in the future. ADDS provides AuthN (Kerberos and NTLM) and AuthZ (ACLs and AZMan) and LDAP, and that will be its fundamental role for a long time. But there's a lot more to identity and access management than logging people in and providing an LDAP store. How do you provision and deprovision those identities? How do you make sure users get access to all the systems and resources they need to do their jobs, but no more than that, and how do you prove that to an auditor? How do you provide secure access to your internal IT resources to people that don't work in your company (and not incur the overhead of managing their identities)? How do you ensure that once you grant access to your collaborators that they don't just turn around and mail your confidential documents off to someone else? All of these things are critically important to information security and regulatory compliance, and none of them are addressed by ADDS. That's why I've been adding ILM, ADFS and RMS content to what has traditionally been a directory experts conference.

We have most of the DEC08 agenda worked out, but there are still some loose ends, mostly regarding the product team sessions. I hope to have those squared away in the next couple of weeks.

One thing I'm particularly excited about for DEC08 is the pre-conference workshop. Oxford Computer Group is going to produce an all-day, hands-on workshop that will build an entire enterprise IdA infrastructure using all the bullets in the MSFT IdA gun, including Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Services, AD Federation Services, AD Certificate Services, Identity Lifecycle Manager "2", CardSpace, and Rights Management Server. I you go through this workshop, you will come out with a solid understanding of how all the MSFT IdA components work, and work together, to provide a complete IdA infrastructure.

The other thing I'm really excited about for next year is that Joe Long is going to keynote the conference. Joe is the GM for Connected Identity at MSFT, and owns all the technologies we'll be talking about, so he's sort of the perfect guy to have there. I'm sure you'll enjoy talking to him when you meet him.

Check out the website and the agenda, and register now. Seating is limited, operators are standing by.

2008 Directory Experts Conference (DEC) - Chicago, March 2-5

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