This has been an exciting week for cloud developers. Earlier this week, the Office 365 team unveiled huge improvements in the Office 365 developer platform at the SharePoint developer conference. Integral to these improvements is Azure AD Graph support for the discovery service and the consent framework.
And today we have more cool news. I am happy to be able to share that the preview of Directory Extensions for Azure AD is now available. Many of you have asked for schema extensibility and I’m really thrilled that we’ve released the first preview so quickly.
As we designed this feature we had two goals:
- Enable ISVs to build more powerful directory-aware applications. Allowing application developers to extend the directory allows them to develop richer directory-aware applications without worrying about access controls, availability requirements, two phase commits, etc. implied by an external user profile store.
- Enable organizations to move their applications to the cloud. Seamlessly synchronizing on-premises schema extensions to Azure AD will allow organizations to leverage investments in on-premises applications as they move to the cloud.
This first preview focuses on goal #1 above. This preview provides REST interfaces for an application to register, unregister, enumerate, read, write, and filter by extension values. We have already started prototyping and designing integration with our DirSync and FIM tools to enable easy synchronization of custom schema extensions between on-premises AD and Azure AD. So it won’t be very long before we can turn on features that enable the second goal as well.
If you want to try out this new platform capability, please check out the blog post on the graph team blog. To take full advantage of this feature you will need:
- An Azure subscription (which includes an Azure Active Directory), and
- An Application you have granted permissions to write to your Azure Active Directory
These capabilities have been motivated by your requests for getting more value out of Azure AD and bringing AD and Azure AD together. As always, we look forward to your feedback! You can visit the Azure AD forum to let us know what you think.
Alex Simons (Twitter: Alex_A_Simons)
Director of PM
Active Directory Team