Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure to read the “Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 Handbook“ by Kent Nordström. Those who watch the FIM TechNet forums will definitely know the name. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book from Packt Publishing and would like to thank Pamheiba Akoijam.
As anyone in this area of expertise knows there are not many good resources around when it comes to understanding the value proposition of FIM and how to technically deploy it; other than the official TechNet wiki’s, articles and blogs. For a complete list of online FIM resources see Forefront Identity Manager Resources (en-US) - TechNet - Microsoft.
One of the first books that added value to the community was “FIM R2 Best Practices Volume 1: Introduction, Architecture and Installation of Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2” written originally by David Lundell and Brad Turner (that David has now updated for FIM 2010 R2). The book is a great resource as an introduction as well as architectural overview for deployment topologies and I often recommend it to FIM customers. The book however had a lot of topics that David and Brad wanted to still address. Enter “Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 Handbook“.
I really enjoyed going through this book and reading how the book easily explains various difficult concepts. Something else that is noticeable from the start is that the book is written with a single common real world scenario featuring a fictitious company called “The Company” (no reference to the CIA J) as the basis for all business scenarios and solution deployment activities.
The book covers and extremely broad scope of topics related to FIM ranging from something as simple as a brief history for the product up to deployment and troubleshooting suggestions. One of the great things about the book as that it is very hand-on and practical. Each business challenge is explained, mapped to a solution in FIM (and associated Microsoft products and offerings) and then deployed step-by-step. This ranges from information aggregation and synchronization, object provisioning and de-provisioning, password management, group management and portal customization. I love the fact that the book includes sections on FIM Certificate Manager, ADFS and Office 365.
The FIM content itself within the book is extremely value and I might find myself referencing it from time to time. Important areas such as “least privilege permissions” and development to production migration adds to the comprehensive scope of the book.
It feels like I can go on and on about the things I liked when going through the book, but be assured this is one of the best hands-on technical guides to the product that is published today.
If I had to make one comment about what I thought was missing I would be the perspective on some of the business value within the product relating to reporting, compliance and governance. None the less the book is an excellent resource.
Things I liked about the book:
- Real Business scenarios with real solutions
- Great practical, hands-on scenarios and deployments
- Touches on almost every technical consideration in just enough depth (great breath and enough depth)
- UAG, ADFS and Office 365 scenarios
I think the combination of “FIM R2 Best Practices Volume 1: Introduction, Architecture and Installation of Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2” and “Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 Handbook“ will be my de-facto standard recommendation to any personal trying to understand FIM and it will be required reading for my deployment team from now on.
The book is avaiable on many online stores include B&N, Amazon and the publisher site (here).