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Understanding Azure Active Directory

In this lesson we will take an introductory look at Azure Active Directory and who uses it. We will also look at the different Azure AD  licenses and some key terms. We will round things out with features that work in Azure AD.


In this lecture, you’re introduced to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), a cloud-based identity and access management service. You will learn about its utility for users to sign in and access resources, both internal, like corporate network applications, and external, such as Microsoft 365, the Azure Portal, and various other SaaS applications.

The lecture clarifies that Azure AD is particularly relevant for IT administrators, application developers, and subscribers to Microsoft services. IT administrators leverage Azure AD for access control and enforcing security measures like multi-factor authentication, as well as syncing with on-prem Active Directories. Application developers use Azure AD for integrating single sign-on into their applications, streamlining the login process for users. Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Azure subscribers are inherently engaged with Azure AD as it manages user access for these services.

The various Azure AD licenses are discussed, starting with the free version, which provides basic user and group management, directory synchronization, and some reporting. You’ll learn about the enhanced features of Azure Active Directory Premium P1 and P2, such as self-service capabilities, advanced administration, identity protection, and Privileged Identity Management.

A look at the Office 365 apps version of Azure AD is provided, highlighting user and group management, device registration, and security reporting among other features. The lecture emphasizes that depending on the chosen Azure AD license, different sets of features become available, including application management tools like the Application Proxy and Single Sign-On, as well as authentication features such as self-service password reset and smart lockout.

The lecture concludes by exploring hybrid identity features, reporting, and monitoring options, along with Privileged Identity Management. These tools offer insights into security and usage patterns and manage access within an organization. Resources for further detailed information are also pointed out, including a URL for a comprehensive list of Azure AD features and descriptions.

Upcoming lessons promise to delve into the differences between Azure AD and traditional on-prem Active Directory, broadening your understanding of identity management in cloud environments.

© 2023 Thomas J Mitchell / TomTeachesIT