As a woman with many hats, why would I want to add to the rack? To grab a star for the top. I love my work. I love making others tasks easier. This means we offer almost quarterly new services to make their jobs more efficient. Other than service management for us, what’s the biggest downside to this rapid growth? The number of accounts our users must remember in order to access these great new awesome services.
This has become a big concern over the past couple of years for which I have invested a little of my limited time during this period into federation and single sign-on education. The more I’ve read, the more I’ve wanted to dive deep into this subject. And I am happy to report that with the upgrade for our Live@EDU domains to Office 365 for Education, this gave me the career in I desperately seek.
It allowed me to attend TechED 2012 and a pre-conference for Sharepoint and Federated login with Active Directory Federation Services. The presenter was great and very knowledgable on this subject. I was even able to contact him via email a few weeks later with a question for which he responded. This actually surprised me and made me respect him that much more. Just shows there are a few of us left in the industry that willingly lend a hand to help others pursue their passions in the IT field.
Within a few weeks of the conference, I had our ADFSv2 environment all setup, tested and ready to go. I must admit deploying with the Office 365 trial tenant was very easy. The steps are well documented and their support was awesome. I enjoyed this so much that I centered my Masters thesis project around federating accounts and the security behind it.
Now as a company we are looking to move more of our services into this realm which has provided me with the opportunity to learn more about Windows Identity Foundation and the protocols involved with federating identities and providing single sign-on to our users.
I am also diving into online communities and volunteering my time to work on projects surrounding this technology to hopefully work on advancements, learn even more and help others just getting started with their own solutions.
This may be a lot of work and a lot of invested time on my part, but knowing that the ability to allow our users to access disparate systems using a single company managed account instead of dozens of different portals is well worth the time spent.