Azure Active Directory – Part 1

Santosh Gaikwad

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What is Azure Active Directory?

Azure Active Directory also termed as AAD is Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud based directory and identity management service, which provides option to configure multi-factor authentication, device registration, self-service password management, self-service group management, privileged account management, role based access control, application usage monitoring, rich auditing and security monitoring and alerting.

In short for those who understand Active Directory, AAD is cloud version of identity management service with some difference offerings than Active Directory.

How can i use Azure Active Directory?

Office365, Azure or Dynamics CRM Online customers use Azure AD behind the scene. Every Office365, Azure and Dynamics CRM tenant is already an Azure AD tenant.

Getting started with Azure AD is fairly simple, you can either subscribe to O365, Azure and your Azure AD is automatically created for you behind the scene. You can refer article to Setup free Azure Subscription.

Once you subscribe successfully to Azure, login to azure portal and navigate to Azure Active Directory from left menu on the screen.

Here you will able to configure all the settings of Azure Active Directory and manage users, groups and permissions.

Why to use Azure Active Directory?

There are many reasons to use Azure AD, few of them are listed below.

Microsoft is centralizing its identity and access management service in cloud with offering called Azure AD.

Other cloud offerings of Microsoft like Office365, Azure and Dynamics CRM tenant by default uses Azure AD tenant, even without you implicitly knowing it.

Azure Active Directory can be used to configure access to applications, manage users and groups, configure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for users.

Azure AD enables you to identify irregular sign-in activity using advanced machine learning algorithms.

You can extend existing on-premises Windows Server Active Directory implementations to Azure Active Directory.

Azure AD enables to configure single sign-on (SSO) access to SaaS Applications like Office365, Salesforce.com, DropBox, and Concur.

Azure AD enables you to integrate your applications for Authentication and Authorization without doing any code, which lets you focus on building your functional application.

All these offerings of Azure AD helps you to secure cloud based applications, streamline IT processes, cut costs of development and authentication process.

 

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