Earlier this year, I blogged about the value of identity and the work Microsoft is doing with the Lake Washington School District to deploy the “Geneva” platform to provide students, parents, teachers and staff easier access to education materials and information. Since then, “Geneva”…now officially called Windows Identity Foundation (WIF)…is out of beta and has been released broadly for download to everyone. For those who don’t know, Windows Identity Foundation is a new extension to the Microsoft .NET Framework that helps developers build claims-aware applications that externalize user authentication from the application, improving developer productivity, enhancing application security, and enabling interoperability.

The video here is a good case study and shows tremendous progress with where we’ve come and a real practical example of how a school is using identity with different role types, how it integrates with its netbook strategy, and the way in which they’ve connected to joint synchronized calendaring across the district. I think it is a good primer for schools to think about with regards to building an identity strategy on extendable platforms like SharePoint that they can integrate with. It also highlights a partner solution from Intand, which provides a seamless integration with SharePoint and the backend experience on the WIF platform to help with calendaring across the school district.

This solution is just not only appropriate for K12, but higher education too, because the identity environment, the need for shared presence and the number of role types have actually increased in higher education because you’ve got faculty, administrators, students, facilities people, security on campus, as well as even alumni…so in many cases the role-based provisioning and security of Windows Identity Foundation will enable scenarios in higher education.