UPDATE: Microsoft To End Sales of Forefront Unified Access Gateway Product
Microsoft today described two changes coming to its Forefront product line.
First, the company will stop selling its Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) product on July 1, 2014. Second, its Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) product will continue to be sold, with the "next major release" scheduled for the first six months of 2015. Those two changes were announced in a Dec. 17 Microsoft server and cloud blog post.
Forefront UAG 2010 Service Pack 4 is the current version of Microsoft's reverse-proxy and access control solution, as released last month. UAG 2010 was one of the few Forefront products that Microsoft planned to continue after it initiated a series of product changes back in 2012. At that time, Microsoft announced it would discontinue sales of a number of its Forefront services, as well as its Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 product.
Organizations that are planning to continue to use UAG 2010 SP4 will still get "extended support" for the product until April 14, 2020, after which it will be "unsupported" and lose security patch support. Organizations with Software Assurance coverage for UAG will be able to convert it into receiving "a Windows Server 2012 Standard server license for each UAG server license," according to Microsoft's announcement.
Microsoft claims that organizations can get some, but not all, of UAG's functionality in Windows Server 2012 R2. For instance, the application publishing capability is supported in "the new Web Application Proxy service in the Remote Access role of Windows Server 2012 R2," according to the blog post. In addition, Microsoft's virtual private network-like DirectAccess technology has been supported since Windows Server 2012.
Microsoft's last version of its premises-based identity management solution was FIM 2010 R2 Service Pack 1, which was released in January. The premises-based product lately has gotten overshadowed by Microsoft's cloud-based Windows Azure Active Directory service, which was released in April. However, Microsoft claims that the premises-based FIM product is still part of its roadmap going forward, at least in calendar-year 2015.
"The next full release of FIM will be delivered as part of Microsoft's identity and access management product roadmap, which includes both on-premises investments and those we are making in Windows Azure Active Directory and related cloud services," Microsoft's blog stated.
The 2015 FIM product will include a few improvements. It will support hybrid networks tapping Windows Azure Active Directory. Microsoft also plans some as-yet-unspecified changes to FIM's user and access management capabilities, as well as its audit and compliance capabilities.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.