Microsoft Adds New Capabilities to Verified ID Preview
Microsoft on Tuesday announced improvements to the preview of the Microsoft Entra Verified ID service.
Verified ID is a budding product that's slated to reach commercial-release status "in early August 2022." The new preview enhancements, announced on Tuesday, add to improvements that were announced last month.
Verified ID first appeared as a preview more than a year ago and was called "Azure Active Directory Verifiable Credentials" back then. It's a blockchain-based identity attestation service that is said to give organizations and individuals control over their issued IDs. Microsoft made the product name switch to Verified ID last month as part of an overall "Microsoft Entra" rebrand, which encompassed its various identity and access management service offerings.
The latest Verified ID preview improvements mostly make things easier for developers of apps, plus IT pros overseeing access.
For users of the Microsoft Authenticator app, Microsoft has made it possible to recover a user's Verifiable Credentials in cases when a device is lost. It works via an exportable passphrase file, Microsoft explained:
Users can export their credentials and secure the exported file using a pass phrase to ensure that only you can access your encrypted credentials. If you lose your phone, you can use Microsoft Authenticator on the new device to import credentials using the file, along with the passphrase.
Another Verified ID preview addition is access to a Verifiable Credential Network. This network is basically a database of verified issuers of "credential types" for use by developers. Its main benefit is not requiring developers to perform custom integration work when selecting an issuer for an application. It can be used even by organizations that just use the free Azure AD version, Microsoft indicated.
"Anyone using the free version of Azure AD can now easily request and verify credentials without requiring any custom integration with issuers," the announcement stated.
Developers also have access to a Request API that will "programmatically issue and verify credentials" for apps. Examples showing how to use the Request API are "available in .NET, Java, Node.JS and Python," Microsoft indicated.
Lastly, another addition to the Verified ID preview is the ability to use the Azure Portal to "configure the look and feel" of a credential. These "directory-based claims" get configured in the portal, with options available from Microsoft Graph technology. Credentials can be configured for a "wide variety of use cases." The example given by Microsoft was creating "a verified employee."
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.