Well (in short Winking smile) AppFabric ACS just added a bunch of new features that are available one the AppFabric Labs portal, where you can check out the CTP. To understand properly what ACS is all about, you should read about Claims-Based access control.

New features include the following:

  • Integrates with Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) and tooling
  • Out-of-the-box support for popular web identity providers including: Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook

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  • Out-of-the-box support for Active Directory Federation Server v2.0
  • Support for OAuth WRAP, WS-Trust, and WS-Federation protocols
  • Support for the SAML 1.1, SAML 2.0, and Simple Web Token (SWT) token formats
  • Integrated and customizable Home Realm Discovery that allows users to choose their identity provider
  • An OData-based Management Service that provides programmatic access to ACS configuration
  • A Web Portal that allows administrative access to ACS configuration

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Some content to get you started with AppFabric, Claims Based Identity and Access Control and ADFS 2.0:

  1. Introductory video to Windows Azure AppFabric
  2. Channel9 Video: Introducing the New Features of the August Labs Release of the Access Control Service
  3. Patterns & Practices’ A Guide to Claims–based Identity and Access Control (a free book on MSDN)
  4. Vittorio Bertocci’s Identity Training Course on Channel9
  5. Justin Smith’s Blog Post on new features in Windows Azure AppFabric ACS
  6. Windows Server Active Directory Federations Services 2.0
  7. Using Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 in Identity Solutions
  8. MSDN Magazine Article: Passive Authentication for ASP.NET with WIF