MIM, FIM and ILM compared

What are the differences between MIM, FIM, and ILM?

MIM 2016, Microsoft’s on-premises identity management platform, incorporates the best features of its predecessors, FIM 2010 and ILM, plus additional components.

Going from ILM 2007 to FIM 2010, we got more management agents (“connectors”, if you like), but we also got the FIM portal and service, offering a web interface for user and group management, and self-service password reset (SSPR), allowing solutions like white pages and user self-service. The portal has a comprehensive security model, and policy in the portal is set using very accessible UI-based rules.

However, the portal also introduced the mixed blessing of synchronization rules that can be created entirely in a UI without the need for code (where the existing synchronization service manager rules extensions require code). These rules are imported by the synchronization engine where they are interpreted and acted upon. Most seasoned practitioners see these as less capable and less performant.

The primary advantage of FIM 2010 SP1 over FIM 2010 was significant performance improvements, especially in the connection between the (portal) service and the synchronization service.

Going from FIM 2010 to MIM 2016 was a re-brand, with management agents (connectors) brought up to date and SSPR being made compatible with Microsoft Entra ID (Azure AD) MFA. A small but important addition to MIM 2016 SP1 was the ability to directly use Microsoft 365 (Office 365) for email notifications and approvals.

Further readingFIM to MIM – A User’s Guide’.

Isn’t MIM reaching the end of life? Read our blog The Future of MIM as we see it.

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Updated December 2023