How to install AAD Sync on a full SQL Server

This was a question from large customer in the southwest who has over 250,000 users to sync to Office 365. AAD Sync requires a Full SQL Server to handle anything over around 100,000 user objects.


Here are the steps to install AAD Sync with a Full SQL Server:


0) Install a SQL Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2014 on another server

1) Grab AAD Sync tool here.

2) Run MicrosoftAzureADConnectiontool.exe on the AAD Sync Server (VM or Physical)

3) Close AAD Sync wizard once it opens to avoid installing to a SQL Express DB

4) Open a command prompt with Administrator rights

5) Change to the c:\program files\Microsoft azure ad connection tool\  directory

6) Run the following from that directory:

DirectorySyncTool.exe /sqlserver <SERVER NAME> /serviceaccountdomain <NETBIOS NAME> /serviceaccountname <AD service account name> /serviceaccountpassword <password>


directorysynctool.exe /sqlserver /serviceaccountdomain CONTOSOSCHOOL /serviceaccountname AAD-SyncSVC /serviceaccountpassword P@ssw0rd1

7) AAD Sync Wizard will automatically open and allow you to follow the wizard to complete the configuration. See more on wizard here.

Comments (6)
  1. cparker says:

    FYI those double quotes caused the username/password to fail for me. I had a special character in my password and I pounded my head against the wall for about 5 hours before randomly trying to drop the double quotes and it worked.

  2. markga says:

    @Cparker – thanks for the feedback. Sorry for those troubles. What error did you get with the double quotes? what version of AAD Sync did you use? it may no longer need quotes in the latest version of AAD Sync now. I will update the steps without the double

  3. Chris Lehr says:

    I had to use double quotes on the password due to special characters, worked OK for me. Another thing – you may want to emphasize COMMAND PROMPT. Running this from PowerShell it installs skipping the command prompts, so you have to start over!

  4. edward says:

    I know this post is a bit old now but I am wondering what access does the service account actually need to the SQL server where it is creating the database?

  5. Jacky Fan says:

    Does AAD Connect support SQL HA ,such as SQL Always-On Availability Group ?

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