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Chapter 4. Configuring Additional Active... > Active Directory Federation Services...

Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)

Introduced with Windows Server 2003 R2, AD FS provides a single sign-on capability for authentication of users to multiple web-based applications within a single session. It enables companies and business partners to collaborate with each other without the need to establish trust relationships and without the need for users in these companies to remember multiple usernames and passwords. Windows Server 2008 enhances AD FS with improved installation and administration capabilities as well as integration with AD RMS and Microsoft Office SharePoint Services 2007.

To provide a simple example, refer to Figure 4.19. Let’s assume that Examcram.com is hosting a web application to which users in its own company and partner company Quepublishing.com need access. Each company operates its own Active Directory forest, but neither IT director wants to set up a trust relationship similar to those discussed in Chapter 5. So both companies set up a server running Windows Server 2008 with AD FS that enables users in Quepublishing.com to authenticate to the web server operated by Examcram.com with their regular usernames and passwords. The Examcram.com AD FS server authenticates a user from Quepublishing.com and grants access to the web application. The company hosting the web application is known as the resource partner, and the company being trusted for access is known as the account partner. Web applications involved are known as federated applications. As you can see from Figure 4.19, this constitutes a type of trust between the AD FS servers without an external or forest trust between the two forests.


  

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