Tag : Azure

Top 3 Identity Management Solution Recommendations

 Identity-Management-as-a-Service (IDaaS) provider aids with identifying individuals in a system (such as a country, a network, or an enterprise) and controlling their access to resources within that system by associating user rights and restrictions with the established identity.


Okta Identity Management

Okta comes highly rated for identity management, and for good reason. Rated best-in-class for support of integrating multiple directories, as it allows for multiple identity providers without compromising data quality, support providers such as AD, Google Apps, and Workday. Beginning at $2 per user, per month and ranging up to $8 for the most advanced tier. Installation and set up of Okta is fairly easy. One of the first steps of set up involves connecting to an existing AD domain, which Okta offers an AD agent that will synchronize user and security group objects to the software’s cloud based Universal Directory. After downloading the installer and going through the basic wizard motions, you can start using the Okta Agent Manager to dabble with basic maintenacne tasks, adding domains, and configuring a proxy server. You can use Okta to make your life easier by configuring the software to pull employee information from a SaaS application, configured as master attricutes, fed back to AD, and therefore enabling changes to the group to be automatically populated. The functionality possibilities are really to whatever degree you decide to take it. Okta offers more than any other Identity Management in the game.


onelogin  OneLogin

OneLogin is another great Identity Management tool. It offers support for multiple security policies and roles and mapping functionality provide flexible management. OneLogin offers a free entry-level proving that makes it the ideal choice for small businesses. Their four tier model ranges from the free level offer to an $8 per user, per month option similar to that of Okta. The directory integration sets OneLogin apart in the enterprise, alomg with other expected features of a quality IDaaS, such as multiple security policies, mobile functionality for users, multifactor authentication, and SAML authentication. Some found OneLogin’s dependence on mappings to be confusing, so that is something to consider.

azureWindows Azure Active Directory

Best-in-class integration with both Active Directory (AD) and Office 365, as well as the most cost-effective option for multifactor authentication (MFA). Azure gets a significant boost up due to the tight integration with Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory (AD) and Office 365. Azure AD encompasses advanced toolsets for managing identities and identifying the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications used within an organization. Microsoft has been a top industry leader for decades, which is why they have such a significant leg up in on-premise network directories. Azure AD’s pricing is very competitive compared to other IDaaS, offering a free tier, a Basic tier for $.50 per user per month, and a Premium tier that runs $6 per month.



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, please click on the linked titles above.


Microsoft SharePoint Online Not Ready

BVA has taken an active role in trying to take organizations in the cloud and it has been an upward battle to say the least.  BVA (technology consulting companies) has had some great success with Microsoft Exchange Online even though we have had some limitations, but overall we are happy with the service from Microsoft.  SharePoint in the cloud is a good product and works well but there are some pricing concerns as well as migration process.   I am somewhat of a fan of SharePoint Online itself via functionality and overall performance yet the cost is unrealistic and until Microsoft gets on board it will never take off below the Enterprise Space.  It’s a reliable, convenient service that allows companies to take advantage of SharePoint without having to host it themselves. It’s software-as-a-service at its best with no hardware or software investment upfront which is great.  SharePoint Online today is based on the 2007 version but with the new wave it should be up to the 2010 version by the end of the year.  I have been told that some of the service is currently on 2010 but it’s interesting because I cannot get a clear answer, to be blunt.  My thought is that some of the users are for testing purposes before the full release.  The service online does a good job providing some of the core SharePoint capabilities. At the end of the calendar year, SharePoint Online will be updated to SharePoint 2010 at which point it will be even more powerful & provide even greater parity with SharePoint 2010 “On-Premises”. This is largely due to all the investments Microsoft made in the 2010 wave.  With SharePoint 2007 today, a site collection serves as a tenant boundary delivering some of the core WSS 3.0 features along with some of the MOSS 2007 features such as web content management. However, when it comes to MOSS 2007 especially, not all of the features are optimal for multiple tenants.  With the 2010 wave,  SharePoint Online has significant improvements and enables a wide range of scenarios from small cosmetic changes to custom code solutions:

SharePoint Browser UX . The new SharePoint UX allows end-users to very easily modify the site theme, switch the site chrome (master page) and modify site content (web content, rich media and documents). The new wiki-like interface and new SharePoint Ribbon really make it easy to interact with and make SharePoint look and work the way you want.

Web Services. This builds on the existing extensibility we have with SharePoint 2007. SharePoint 2010 will continue to expose web services that external applications can call into.  

Business Connectivity Services (BCS). New to SharePoint Online, with SPD 2010 & BCS, you’ll be able to model business entities by connecting to WCF end points. This will allow you to connect your SharePoint Online application to external systems.

Client OM. New to SharePoint 2010, the client OM allows developers to develop solutions that don’t run on the server. This becomes a powerful way to develop .NET applications that integrate with SharePoint. A really great example of this: Silverlight applications. With the SharePoint Client OM & Silverlight, developers will be able to create really rich applications on top of SharePoint Online that run on the client, interact with the server (SharePoint Online) and are accessible across multiple browser technologies.

Sandbox Solutions. With the new Sandbox Solution feature, developers can now upload custom code into the SharePoint Online environment. Specifically, developers can use the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Tools to develop partially trusted code (Sandbox Solutions), package them up as a WSP and upload them into SharePoint Online. Examples include custom web parts and event receivers. While full-trust solutions will not be supported, this goes a long way to extending SharePoint Online with custom business logic. For some complex scenarios, I even envision developers developing hybrid SharePoint Online Sandbox Solutions with Windows Azure.

SharePoint Online SKUs for the 2010 Wave

  • $5.25 per license/per user
  • 250 MB per user, aggregated across the organization
  • $2.25 per additional GB (can get quite pricey for an organization)
  • 100 site collections
  • Enterprise USL Cals is self-explanatory as it provides Enterprise CAL functionality
  • Internet Sites offer provides a public facing website portal with underlying web content management (WCM); the Partner Access offer enables company employees to collaborate with authenticated external partners within SharePoint Online.
Still one of the greatest things about SharePoint Online is the low cost of ownership and being a very valuable Intranet.  Keeping everyone up to date and provide the starting point to search across the company for important documents and people.  Being able to share documents and insights securely with partners as well as internal and external customers.  Also an great value add was the Extranet Sites that are easy to set-up it and designed to keep you in control of the information you share with customers and partners.

Technical requirements for Local Desktops

Windows 7: 1 gigahertz (GHz) Pentium processor and 1 gigabyte (GB) of system RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB of system RAM (64-bit)

Windows Vista: 1 GHz Pentium processor or faster and 1 GB or more of system RAM

Windows XP: 500 MHz Pentium processor or faster (recommended 1 GHz) and 256 MB or more of system RAM