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Programming Windows® Identity Foundation (Dev - Pro) 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735627185
ISBN-10: 0735627185
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Programming Windows® Identity Foundation (Dev - Pro)
  • +
  • Microsoft Windows Identity Foundation Cookbook
  • +
  • A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control: Authentication and Authorization for Services and the Web (Microsoft patterns & practices)
Total price: $135.93
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vittorio Bertocci is a Senior Architect Evangelist in DPE and a key member of the extended engineering team that produces Microsoft's claims-based platform components (e.g. Windows Identity Foundation, ADFS 2.0). He is responsible for identity evangelism for the .NET developers community and drove initiatives such as the Identity Developer Training Kit and the IdElement show on Channel 9.

He is co-author of Understanding Windows Cardspace (Addison-Wesley, 2008) and a prominent authority/blogger on Azure, "Geneva" (the code name for Windows Identity Foundation), .NET development, and related topics.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dev - Pro
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735627185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735627185
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a semi-exhaustive explanation of plumbing and details, this might be the book for you. Maybe.

I was looking for some code samples and reasonable quick-start type guides to at least get a proof of concept up and running, but there is no sort of cohesion to the book that makes it possible. The first part labors on about federated identity and fundamentals, which is fine to an extent. However, it just keeps going on with theory... again, which is fine if you want to sit and read a book to learn about federated security.

A preferred approach, and the one followed by most good technical books, is to start with a basic example and explain the theory behind it in small chunks.

I was surprised by how frustrating this book is based on the other reviews, so maybe I'm missing something everyone else is getting. But, if you're looking for a reasonable quick start to WIF with meat to back up the code, this probably isn't a good fit for you.
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Because there really aren't any good alternatives out there.

As far as technical books go, this one is only so-so. The chapters are somewhat oddly organized -- or one could say disorganized -- and make it difficult to mentally compartmentalize the lessons.

Some of the examples use odd choices of scenarios and it could use more code samples and discussions of the internals and less of the high level concepts (perhaps it's the organization that's throwing me off).

In the end, it's a middling book that becomes a near must-have because of the current lack of in-depth coverage on the topic. I would recommend it, but it's not the most practical of books when it comes to gaining a deep technical understanding of the topic at hand.
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This is a must have for any anyone tasked with writing claims aware applicatons. Do NOT let the size of this book fool you either - it is jammed full of critical details. This is the only publication available that goes into the detail that Vittorio goes into. Whether you're new to claims-based development and just want to know enough to get started writing Relying Party's (that's about the first 50 pages), or need the in-depth knowledge of how protocols work, intricate details of WSFAM and SAM, and such, this book has you covered. I also like how Vittorio draws attention to solutions to some common problems, such as home-realm discovery, pass through claims, impersonation, proof-of-possession, custom STS's, and more. You will also find references to some very useful tools to aid in your development.
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Having followed Vittorio's work (blog, webcasts, code samples)related to claims-based identity over the last two-three years, I ordered this book as soon as it arrived. And this book did not disappoint. I read the book cover-to-cover within a week of its arrival and found it to be very useful in helping me better understand the concepts behind WIF.

Here are some additional details that I hope will be helpful to anyone considering this book:

1) Claims based identity is an important enabling technology that .NET developers and designer need to understand well. And this is not just case, if you are an ASP.NET or WCF developer. Claims-based identity is important even if you are SharePoint, BI or Azure developer.

2) This book is broken up into two parts. The first part explains the basics of claims based identity. Second part is more advanced and gets into the nuts and bolts of WIF.

3) Don't skip over the ASP.NET chapters (2, 3 & 4 ) just because you are not going to use WIF inside ASP.NET. These aforementioned chapters cover a number of important concepts ( such as single-sign-on, claims transformation, federation) that you will need to understand when using WIF outside of ASP.NET (say with WCF).

4) Being involved with the WIF team for a long time, Vittorio is able to provide important context around how some of the features have evolved, design decisions etc.

5) Last but not the least, it is hard to write a book on security. Fortunately, Vittorio has managed to write it in a conversational, unassuming style that makes it easy to read. Wherever needed, he provides a just in time, overview of protocols ( WS-Trust, WS-Federation and so on) without getting mired in the details associated with these, rather arcane, specifications.
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I bought this book because I prefer to study a new technology in "inside-out" way. As an experienced developer I want to look "under the hood", to see how technology works internally. While the book provides a lot of insider info not just about WIF itself but also about rationale behind its creation it does it in very incoherent way.

The book starts very well. First 2 chapters provides a good introduction into both WIF and the principles of claims based identity. Author describes why claim base identity is important and what kind of problems it tries to solve. I especially liked the comparison between evolution of computer drivers and identity solutions. The problem is that the book didn't keep the pace it set.

Next 4 chapters explain WIF usage in 3 different technologies ASP.NET, WCF and Azure. All chapters contain some theory with very short snippets of actual code. Useful theory is scattered to these 4 chapters without some general coherency. The book doesn't have some governing idea where each chapter should start, how much theory it should explain and in which order it should do. In the end of day I had to go back and forward, to re-read what I had already read to remind the details. Another problem is the lack of source code. Even though the book is marked as a WIF book, there is very little of WIF code. WIF classes are not presented in systematic way, just (like theory) scattered here and there. The last thing to mention is sample code. There isn't. Just a reference to official WIF samples.

While all these issues, Programming WIF is still useful. Author is undoubtedly an expert to WIF. With better organization and more systematic approach to WIF itself this could have been a great book. But on 240 pages it's simply not possible.
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