Being Windows Live ID one of the existing authentication modes and that has as big advantage the already existing infrastructure provided by Microsoft and with no cost associates, and also making the Single-Sign-On for several solutions that use Windows Live ID as the authentication mechanism, and if we add the fact that there are mode then 420 millions of registered users of Windows Live ID and more then 1 billion of authentications by day we see that this is a well known and with high used form of authentication. Of course we know that this values have to do with the usage of MSN Messenger, but we can capitalize the knowledge and trust from the users in our solutions. But when we look to enterprise solutions there can be situations that need to share authentication to our solutions between Windows Live ID and at the same time the users that exist on our enterprise and that are managed by Active Directory, LDAP or any other (Ex. An Online Store that we want to give customers the possibility of authenticating using Windows Live ID, and the Administrator Users are solutions from our Company, XPTO, that has their users registered on Active Directory.). In this cases what can we do?
The solution for this question is to use Federated Security. For this the Windows Live Platform Team made available a service that provides this and also published this very interesting article on MSDN where you can see how it works and how can we take advantage of it. I strongly suggest this reading.
Some much as been said about Silverlight and it’s really good but sometimes we tend to forget an important issue like Performance, and being Silverlight a very interesting technology is very important not to forget any of this kinds of issues because when technologies are nice, and have great UX more hobbyists appear and more Best Practices are needed in order to maintain the level of success of the solutions developed.
As some of you might already seen there are several ways to take advantage of Silverlight capabilities, as by using it as a Rich island of ASP.NET solutions or developing full blown applications with Silverlight, but we cannot forget that the solution is processed on the client and so it will have to be downloaded by it, making the size a very important issue because you can develop a very nice solution using Silverlight but if it takes several minutes to download to the client, them probably you’ll have a problem with it’s adoption. And so this is why I thought of sharing with you an interesting post about Size Optimization of Silverlight Application files that was made available on the Delay’s Blog.
Don’t forget, Silverligtht is a powerfull technology but it has to be rightly used, and as Spider Man said “With great power comes great responsibility”.
As I said some while ago, there are several projects running related with Virtual Earth and one of them is the generation of a Server Control for ASP.NET that will allow us to develop solution and at the same time take some of the complexity of using Virtual Earth, and so here’s the announcement that this control is made available as part of the Windows Live Tools July Refresh and you can even watch a video related to this subject on Channel 9 with Mark Brown that is a member of the Virtual Earth Team, where he talks about all the elements that were made available with this control.
One other very interesting project that is being developed is the Virtual Earth control for Silverlight and that you can see some of the results here. This project is named Deep Earth and is hosted on CodePlex and for now there’s no release made available, but keep looking. For those of you that would like to use Virtual Earth with Silverlight you can use the codeplex project named Views that as even a video on Channel 9 that explains it’s usage.
So good luck with your developments using Virtual Earth.
One of the great issues that exist when developing solutions is the Security, and when we talk about SaaS or S+S the issue becomes a lot more complicated and so we have to use Federated Identity, and there are several ways to do this and as Frederik Chong from Microsoft and Dwayne Taylor from RDA wrote on their article Federated Identity: Scenarios, Architecture and Implementation this is not a easy issue to solve and so they show some ways that can be used, and although this is a 2006 article, it’s still very interesting to read about the issues, but now the Federated Security Team is developing a framework for Federated Identity with the codename “Zermatt” that’s present on the Microsoft Connect Services site, and this already have a public beta that can be downloaded and used.
For more information’s about the Zermatt you can check the Microsoft Connect Services site and there are some whitepapers for developes you can read to get to know a little better this new framework, and you can also check this Matias Wolosky Blog entry and the Vittorio’s blog from Microsoft that made the announcement of the framework.
This is a framework that will help a lot when developing claims-aware applications. This framework will work on top of technologies like Windows Cardspace, WCF, ASP.NET and several other to help developers and architects.
Normally Business Solutions tend to have a “grey” design and don’t always have the best User Experience, and in order to show that mission critical solutions can also be developed with a better UX, Brad Adams on his blog made a post about what he thought to be a solution with a good UX and even presented the a WebCast that talks about what and how it was developed. In this case it’s a WPF applications, but a Silverlight versions is on it’s way. See more here.