17 minutes read

Windows Azure Active Directory Federation In Depth (Part 2)

In my last post I talked a little bit about the provisioning and federation processes for Office 365 and Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD). This time around I want to talk a little bit about how the various pieces fit together when federating an on premise Active Directory environment with WAAD and Office 365. You can find lots of articles online that talk about how to configure everything, but I wanted to dig a little deeper and show you why everything is configured the way it is. Out of the box a Windows Azure Active Directory tenant manages users for…

1 minute read

SharePoint Summit Token Conference Advertisement

Got an email the other day with a bunch of pictures to stick into my email signature, website, blog, slide decks, and etc for the SharePoint Summit in 2011 here in Toronto.  Since I’m content with the size of my signature, have no access to modify this website’s layout, and will never remember to stick them into any of my slide decks, here they are Please go visit the site, see if you are interested in any of the presentations, and if you are, go!  It’ll be well worth the cost!

1 minute read

Managing Identity in SharePoint

Yet another presentation on the docket!  I submitted an abstract to SharePoint Summit 2011 and they accepted!  I will be presenting on SharePoint and how it manages Identity.  More specifically, how SharePoint 2010 uses WIF to handle Claims based authentication and Federation. Here are the details Event: SharePoint Summit 2011, January 31st 2011 – February 2nd, 2011 When: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. February 1st, 2011 Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto Abstract: Managing identities within an organization is relatively easy. However, as business changes, we need to be able to adapt quickly. Identity is something that often gets overlooked in…

5 minutes read

Using Claims Based Identities with SharePoint 2010

When SharePoint 2010 was developed, Microsoft took extra care to include support for a claims-based identity model.  There are quite a few benefits to doing it this way, one of which is that it simplifies managing identities across organizational structures.  So lets take a look at adding a Secure Token Service as an Authentication Provider to SharePoint 2010. First, Some Prerequisites You have to use PowerShell for most of this.  You wouldn’t/shouldn’t be adding too many Providers to SharePoint all that often so there isn’t a GUI for this. The claims that SharePoint will know about must be known during…

7 minutes read

Naming Conventions can be Your Enemy

Or your ally in the fight against technology management.  Earlier this week I was given the task of doing some naming for new servers, which is pretty much SOP.  Problem is, we don’t have a naming standard.  As such, I may choose a name that annoys someone, or they choose a name that annoys me.  This becomes very political.  We don’t want to name things in such a way that they annoy people.  It’s a bad idea.  And, much to my dismay, I said something this morning that was pretty much just insulting to one of my team members. I…

8 minutes read

Stop Complaining About Software Expenses

It’s been a long week, and it’s only Monday.  It all started with an off-the-cuff comment.  It was of the petty nature, and it certainly wasn’t accurate.  It seems that is usually the case with petty comments. I was berated for suggesting SharePoint Services as a replacement for our ageing intranet, and the commenter responded with a quick “SharePoint?  Microsoft makes that, it’ll cost too much.  Our current java site works just fine, and it’s free.”  Or something of that nature.  How do you respond to a petty comment?  It’s pretty damn hard: While Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 does…

6 minutes read

Silverlight 3.0 and Why Flash Still (unfortunately) Won

Last week Silverlight 3.0 was released.  In Toronto, ObjectSharp put on a very cool launch event, with lots of great demos and compelling reasons to start using Silverlight immediately.  I was impressed, but I’m a Microsoft fan-boy (fan-boi?), so that doesn’t count.  It was certainly fitting that ObjectSharp propose using Silverlight for some parts of our new website www.woodbineentertainment.com, seeing as they won the bid to build the new site.  I saw the potential; as did a few others on the team.  However, some executives did not see the benefit.  I respect their opinion, somewhat because I have to –…

5 minutes read

Security, Architecture, and Common Sense

Good enough is sometimes not good enough.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately (well, I’m always thinking), and security has been an issue that has come up a lot.  Frankly, I’m a two-bit software developer.  I know my code isn’t the best, nor the most secure.  I use strong passwords, encrypt my sensitive data, and try to limit access to the applications for those who need to use it. In theory this works.  Problem is, it’s a lame theory.  There are so many unknown factors that have to be taken into account.  Often times they aren’t. When I…