What is MIM?

Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 (MIM) is an on-premises, server-based synchronization engine. It synchronizes users’ digital identity data between systems. It’s the latest incarnation of an on-premises server-based Microsoft identity product which used to be called ForeFront Identity Manager 2010 R2 (FIM), and Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM). Before that, it was Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 (MIIS). For a historical comparison see MIM, FIM and ILM compared.

We offer 5-star rated MIM training at Foundation, Advanced and Expert level.

Note that Azure AD Connect is based on MIM, too.

Essentially, MIM synchronizes identity data between various systems

MIM is very flexible in what it can connect to – for example Active Directory, other directories, HR systems, ERP systems, email systems, etc. And what objects it synchronizes: always users, often groups, and maybe roles, permissions, computers etc.

It can provision and de-provision, enable and disable, move, and generally synchronize all types of attributes – even passwords (though passwords are not handled like other attributes – being propagated in real time, while regular attributes are synchronized on a schedule).

It comes with some options:

  • A portal that includes a workflow engine for managing employees, contractors and groups, and for providing self-service password reset. Note that the portal functionality is largely replaceable by features in Azure AD Premium, while the above synchronization capability remains a fundamental requirement to many hybrid implementations, and is actually part of Azure AD Premium).
  • Reporting – though again, there are significant limitations, and third party alternatives are available, notably from SoftwareIDM.
Ad hoc identity expertise is now available on tap – mentoring, support and practical help!


We are experts in this complex technology, and we have lots of resources which you may find helpful. Here are some of the most popular:

Need training on Microsoft Identity Manager?

Our industry-leading MIM training courses are available at three levels:  Foundation, Advanced and Expert. We have a choice of ways to learn:

MIM Foundation MIM Advanced MIM Expert

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Updated July 2022