Wednesday, November 28, 2012

System Center is About to Get a Whole Lot Cooler

Listening to the PowerScripting Podcast recently (Episode 205 – Jeffrey Snover talks about PowerShell 3.0) and learned that Jeffrey Snover is now also a lead architect for System Center.  My first impression was bummed because if that guy’s bandwidth were up for grabs then I wish he’d mosey on over to the FIM team for a visit.  PowerShell and FIM are both strong integration engines, it would be really cool to see a mash-up of those two engines.  Anyhow, I look forward to learning more about System Center now, and the impact he’ll have over there. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Selling Test Automation for FIM

For a long time I’ve been convinced that Test Automation (and related automations) are very difficult to sell as scope in a FIM deployment engagement.  It seems like a tax that most people are happy to dodge where in reality it is a bet that people unknowingly make.  That bet is: I bet if I skip test automation then my deployment will still be OK.  The reality is that you are going to spend the time and money proactively doing test automation, or you are going to spend the time reactively scrambling to repro and resolve bugs that your customers find for you.

Anyhow, I was looking at the sponsors of the OCG event in January and stumbled upon an interesting one:

The interesting thing about Software IDM is that they are actually selling test automation for FIM.  This is very interesting because some great FIM ISV products have died on the vine (NetPro Mission Control for example) but this is a product that should be difficult to sell.  Still I’m really fascinated to see somebody try to sell it, and can’t wait to learn more about it.

For the record, I think that EVERY deployment of FIM should have a high percentage of test coverage in the form of test automation.  Test Automation for FIM is NOT easy, but it is the only way to measure quality before pushing changes into production.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I’m Speaking!

OCG is organizing a nice event called the Redmond Identity, Access and Directory Knowledge Summit 2013.

There is a really good collection of speakers lined up, and luckily it is right in my backyard.  Even luckier, I get to speak at the event: FIM PowerShell Session

My session is the last of the day, which works great for me because if anybody wants to talk more about FIM or PowerShell then I will happily keep talking when plied with pints over the Evening Entertainment!

FIM 2012?

Sometimes I wonder if I spend too much inside machines, because I looked up today and saw a slide deck indicating we’ll see Forefront Identity Manager 2012, in what has to be calendar year 2012.
Enterprise Software Roadmap for Microsoft Products 2011
Looking again after my second cup of coffee, the deck clearly says ‘2011’ so I think it is safe to say there may have been a release planned in 2012, which is now probably just FIM 2010 SP1.
The interesting thing is that Microsoft seems to have taken a page out of Apple’s consumer-oriented playbook whereby release details are shrouded in secrecy.  For Microsoft consumer products (Surface was a good example) that makes sense but I hope enterprise software products see more community involvement and less secrecy.

UPDATE: a friend pointed out to me that the deck likely came from Directions on Microsoft, and that the roadmaps posted may not map very accurately to the actual plans of the product group.  You can subscribe to Directions on Microsoft (not free) to view the December 2012 issue which has a fresh roadmap for FIM. SPOILER ALERT: it isn't drastically different than the slide deck linked above except that the dates have moved back a bit.