The Windows Azure Access Control Service, or ACS, is probably one of the most unsung heroes of Microsoft’s PaaS/IaaS offerings. At it’s core ACS servers as a Federation Provider allowing you to decouple the authentication and authorization process from your applications. In a time when more and more web sites (i.e. LinkedIn) seemed to be getting hacked on a daily basis with confidential information exposed for all to see, the ACS can give you and your organization a level of comfort in the cloud by offloading the liabilities associated with unauthorized access to a third party while, at the same time, actually decreasing the amount of code you need to write. However understanding ACS and identity management is not an easy task at first. To help in that effort I created a short screencast where I talk about identity management terminology, how the various pieces of identity management fit together, and how ACS comes into the picture. Enjoy!