Interview with Eihab Isaac - many times Forefront Identity Manager Guru Competition Gold Winner

Today our interview is with Eihab Isaac who distinguished himself in Forefront Identity Manager Guru Competition.

Let's start the interview.

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

My name is Eihab Isaac. I’m originally from Palestine, but now I live in the United States, specifically in the DC metropolitan area. I joined Zeva Incorporated five years ago, and since then I have been working with Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010. Now, I’m leading a team of five IT professionals focusing completely on Identity and Access Management. I’m a Microsoft Certified Professional developer (MCPD) in Web Development. My passion in graphics design and web development made me look at the FIM web portal differently. In fact, I wanted to combine the two technologies together to come up with a new idea that would bring value to the community. So, working with my team members at Zeva, we created a custom extension to the FIM user interface (UI). It was built using Microsoft ASP.NET technology. The Custom UI is deeply discussed at my personal blog It was also presented at The Expert Conference (TEC) in 2012, and a few other webinars.

I recently graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. I was enrolled in the Masters in Information System program. Below are a few pictures from the Spring 2014 graduation ceremony.




What are your big projects right now?

I was involved in every FIM project at Zeva for the past 5 years. Recently, I was involved in FIM/BHOLD implementation. I had a good experience in this project, and learned a lot about BHOLD. I decided to share this experience with the community. I wrote three wiki articles and a couple of blogs on my personal blog. I’m planning to post more wiki articles because it is one of the best places to contribute to.

I’m also preparing for the Windows Server 2012 certification. I will take Exam “70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012”.

Moreover, I’m learning more about Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS), and have a project to setup ADFS with Office 365 and other service providers.


What is TechNet Wiki for? Who is it for?

From the authors perspective, TechNet Wiki is all about contributing back to the community, sharing knowledge and getting recognition. From a reader perspective, it is about finding credible information related to a particular technology easily and in one place.

TechNet Wiki is for everyone, from experts in a particular technology to novice users. The information in every Wiki article varies based on who wrote it. It can be very basic, which would be good for novice users. It could also be advanced for experts. The fact that others can edit and make comments on articles makes it more credible and comprehensive.

One day, I received a phone from a friend. He said “after struggling for a few days, I stumbled upon your Wiki article (FIM 2010: Installing BHold FIM Integration), and I wanted to thank you for sharing. It helped me complete my task successfully”.

As Albert Pine once said “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal”.


What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?

 As an IT professional, I read the articles at TechNet Wiki to expand my knowledge or to find a solutions to a problem I’m facing. In addition to doing research, we are encouraged to be active in the community. We answer questions in the FIM forum, edit articles, and post new articles. It is good to contribute back, and not only consume information.


What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

 The TechNet Guru Award is one of the best things in my opinion. Getting rewarded encouraged me to contribute more, and I’m pretty sure it encouraged others to do the same. The feedback I received from the judges was very positive.


In addition, other members are modifying article to make it better in terms of content, look, and feel. I feel privileged to have people enhance my article or change the layout to make it look better. At the end, it is all for one purpose, “sharing on knowledge”.


What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?

There are very few articles about BHOLD/FIM. My favorite Wiki article that I have contributed is “FIM 2010 R2 BHold: Non-BHOLD Approval Process”. This article breaks down what we have out of the box, and what we can do for customization and extending our solutions.



How do you define writing a good article?  

There are a few characteristics to crafting a good article. First, introducing the topic in an interesting and simple way. Second, be generous in providing details, tables, images, and code snippets. Finally, it’s always good to provide a summary or a conclusion to wrap up the article.


How did you feel after winning gold in the TechNet Guru competition and did it change anything in your life?

It was an amazing feeling. I felt so happy, so I went ahead and shared the article on Facebook. I also sent an email to Zeva’s president, and he was impressed. I also felt very proud to find out that what I have contributed is of value to the community and is getting rewarded.


Please congratulate Eihab with the interview and his accomplishments and don't hesitate to ask more questions.