It seems as soon as I get the population at work to understand what a product is, a new revision comes along with an entirely different name.  Microsoft Identity Integration Server (MIIS) 2003 became Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) 2007, which caused a lot of confusion in my enterprise. 

MIIS was a known product that people have come to associate with my team, but now with ILM replacing the abbreviation of choice, we knew we would have to ease the transition to the new terminology.   While MIIS is the sync component of ILM2007, any external literature would start to use ILM in reference to the product suite.  We had to make the effort to include the "MIIS has been renamed as ILM" in many of our presentations to ease the understanding that presently they are the same product.  This caused confusion at first, since it was believed it was a whole new product, but in the end it was understood it was a Microsoft marketing alignment for the same product.

With ILMv2 coming down the pike shortly, I imagine it will be called ILM2009 if they stay with the year designation of the name.  Internally, I am glad we can still refer to it simply as "ILM" since the MIIS component will be replaced with "ILM Sync Engine" making it more in alignment for the product.

The same is happening in the Active Directory space with Windows 2008 now being released.  I am glad to be retiring the ADAM name, but unfortunately in my environment ADAM is very well known, so the same pains of MIIS/ILM will happen with ADAM/ADLDS.

Here are the old and new names from Gil Kirkpatrick’s article in Technet Magazine:

Previous Name

2008 Name

Active Directory (AD) Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS)
Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (ADLDS)
Certificate Services (CS) Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS)
Rights Management Server (RMS) Active Directory Rights Management Services (ADRMS)
Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

 

So why is Microsoft making my life difficult with these name changes for practically the same product?  Well it does make sense from a services alignment to get these connected technologies under the same product high level product name.  Internally, it also helps in selling/evangelizing the product stack once everything is in alignment, but the name transition will cause some slight pain.  I think it’s important to keep up with communicating the current product names internally, because external reviews, product information, community information will eventually be referring to the product using the new name.  I don’t want a developer thinking "I wish this product supported ADAM, but it only says it supports ADLDS", etc.

  • Eric H.

    Marketing Guys Gotta Eat (unfortunately)…

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