In the previous posts in this series I enabled the integration of the Essentials Dashboard with Azure AD, Office 365 and Windows Intune, so now it’s time to take a look at how this integrations with the user account experience. As with most things related to Essentials, all we need to do is jump into the Dashboard and we can see what it is capable of delivering. This tight integration of Windows Server Essentials with Office 365 is similar to one of the demonstrations I am using the OEM Server Roadshow as it travels around the country, where it tends to catch people off guard with its ease of use.
Inside the Dashboard we just go to Users, and on the right hand task pane we can see “Add a user account” as one of the options. When we select that, we see that the start of the wizard is just like a normal on-prem only user.
Once we go to the next screen in the wizard, we can see the Microsoft Online Services account options appear, where I can create a new online account, assign the new user to an existing account, or not assign an account if it isn’t required.
This is the step that really simplifies one of the integration issues for some users, they would have either had to use PowerShell or the web portal for those services to assign user licenses, and here you can see I can do them all from a central place, and very easily. As new services or changes are introduced for Microsoft Online Services, these will be automatically exposed if you are subscribed to them. Here you can see I’ve got an E3 Office 365 plan and Intune, but you can also see that AAD Premium and MultiFactor Authentication premium are also subscriptions I have taken up. I’ll dig into those in more details in an upcoming post, I just want to highlight them here.
Now the Wizard switches back to the traditional on-prem options, so we can proceed as per usual.
Another traditional On-Prem screen is offered.
And we are done. You can see that New User appears in the user list, as well as receiving the regular successful completion of user account creation dialog.
Before we wrap up, just a few more screenshots. The first is the wizard that is launched from the User Task pane for “Add Microsoft online accounts”, which looks at on-prem accounts that don’t have an associated MOS identity.
This wizard is launched from the “Import user accounts from Microsoft Online Service from the User Tasks pane. This allows us to match existing MOS identities with on-prem account creation or association.
In the next post in this series I’ll dig into the Office 365 functionality that is exposed through the Essentials Dashboard.