An extension to .NET Framework 3.5, Code-named Zermatt, helps you more easily build applications that incorporate a claims-based identity model for authentication and authorization.

Claims are a set of statements that identify a user and provide specific information such as title or purchasing authority. Zermatt uses standard protocols such as WS-Federation, WS-Trust, and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). Data contained in the claims can come from Active Directory, LDAPv3-based directories, application-specific databases, and new user-centric identity models such as Windows Live ID, OpenID and InfoCard systems including CardSpace and Novell's Digital Me.

Zermatt not only eases development of claims-aware applications, but should also benefit your customer's IT Pros by making it easier to deploy, manage, and secure applications. You can build claims-aware applications in both ASP.NET and Windows Communications Foundation (WCF).

The new Federation Services, Zermatt, and Security Token Service (STS) all build toward the goal of an identity service, which your applications can plug into to authenticate users and provide access control.

Zermatt is expected to release by year end.

If you want to get started writing claims-aware applications using Zermatt, see Keith Brown's article on the Connect site. For more information, see Getting down with Zermatt on Kim Cameron's blog. To download white paper for developers or the setup package to get started, see the Zermatt Downloads page on Connect.