Federated Identity Manager

What Does Federated Identity Manager Mean?

Federated Identity Manager (FIM) is a system that assists in managing identities and providing access to resources across different security domains and/or companies.


The advantage of FIM is that an organization is not required to maintain a large database of user credentials for different services and subsystems. An organization maintains only the identity corresponding to its members and may accept credentials from other member organizations under FIM jurisdiction.

Techopedia Explains Federated Identity Manager

An identity is a set of physical and behavioral traits used to distinguish users. Each organization subsystem user self-authenticates to access specific resources and services. Rather than using separate authentication processes for each subsystem, FIM facilitates one user identity for use across multiple systems, which provides resource access. This unique user identity is known as a Federated Identity.

The FIM and user function as follows:

  • User affiliates with the FIM component.
  • User requests a resource from the FIM component.
  • User is authenticated at the home organization via username/password and a message that indicated successful authentication.
  • This message is transmitted to other organization members.
  • Based on user role, name or other attributes, access to the requested resource set is granted.

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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.