image_thumbAccess Control provides an easy way to provide identity and access control to web applications and services, while integrating with standards-based identity providers, including enterprise directories such as Active Directory®, and web identities such as Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo! and Facebook.

The service enables authorization decisions to be pulled out of the application and into a set of declarative rules that can transform incoming security claims into claims that applications understand. These rules are defined using a simple and familiar programming model, resulting in cleaner code. It can also be used to manage users’ permissions, saving the effort and complexity of developing these capabilities.

Here’s a brief description of potential usage scenarios, benefits and features. I’ve added eight links to a collection of short videos about ACS – each video is approximately two minutes. These are “demystifying” videos about ACS including supporting slides available for download. Thanks to fellow Microsoft employee, Alik Levin for providing these links

Use Access Control to
  • Create user accounts that federate a customer's existing identity management system that uses Active Directory® service, other directory systems, or any standards-based infrastructure
  • Exercise complete, customizable control over the level of access that each user and group has within your application
  • Apply the same level of security and control to Service Bus connections
Access Control Benefits:
  • Federated identity and access control through rule based authorization enables applications to respond as if the user accounts were managed locally
  • Flexible standards-based service that supports multiple credentials and relying parties
  • Lightweight developer-friendly programming model based on the Microsoft .NET Framework and Windows Communication Foundation
Access Control Features:
  • Setup Issuer trust with a simple Web interface or programmatically through APIs

  • Supports Active Directory and other identity infrastructures, with minimal coding

  • Support for multiple credentials, including X.509 certificates

  • Support for standard protocols including REST

  • Applications that run inside and outside the organizational boundary can rely on the service

  • Validate application and user request from data and connectivity services

 

ACS Academy Videos

What is ACS?

 

What can ACS do for me?

 

ACS Architecture

ACS Functionality

ACS Deployment Scenarios

ACS and the Cloud

 

ACS and WIF

 

ACS and ADFS

About Windows Azure

The Windows Azure platform is commercially available in 41 countries and enables developers to build, host and scale applications in Microsoft datacenters located around the world. It includes Windows Azure, which offers developers an Internet-scale hosting environment with a runtime execution environment for managed code, and SQL Azure, which is a highly available and scalable cloud database service built on SQL Server technologies. Developers can use existing skills with Visual Studio, .NET, Java, PHP and Ruby to quickly build solutions, with no need to buy servers or set up a dedicated infrastructure, and with automated service management to help protect against hardware failure and downtime associated with platform maintenance.

Getting Started with Windows Azure

See the Getting Started with Windows Azure site for links to videos, developer training kit, software developer kit and more. Get free developer tools too.

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Learn What Other ISVs Are Doing on Windows Azure

For other videos about independent software vendors (ISVs) on Windows Azure, see: