Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog


Howdy folks,

Back in August I posted a blog announcing the beta release of Azure AD Connect. Since then we have received a lot of feedback and made improvements in AAD Connect and AAD Sync, including multi forest support and password write back.

The biggest thing we’ve learned from you, our customers and partners, is that rather than a bunch of different tools (DirSync, AAD Connect, AAD Sync, ADFS, etc.) you want one simple, integrated tool for connecting your existing Windows Server Active Directory with Azure Active Directory. You’ll be happy to know that we’ve acted on your feedback!

Today we’re releasing a public preview of the “new” Azure AD Connect (you can download it here).

Azure AD Connect is “new” because it is now one integrated tool that includes all the advances of AAD Sync and the features from the beta release of Azure AD Connect into simple, fast & lightweight solution. Azure AD Connect has everything you need to connect your Windows Server AD(s) and Azure AD with only 4 clicks.

Now you can get started using Azure AD in under an hour, no new hardware required!

With this preview you can choose Express Settings or Custom settings just like before, only now you get the latest sync engine and capabilities.

Add one or many Active Directory forests to your connection.

And configure sync options Exchange Hybrid sync, password write back and alternate ID attribute


There are few things I want to let you know about the preview:

  • Because it’s our first combined wizard and it is in Preview status, we are not supporting production deployments for this release. Our next release will be production supported.
  • Our goal is to bring 100% of the previous DirSync functionality into Azure AD Connect. Before we GA Azure AD Connect we will bring all Dirsync functionality in.
  • We’ve received a lot of great feedback from you and have incorporated most it. But that doesn’t mean we’re done. Please keep the feedback coming!

Our goal is to GA Azure AD Connect with additional sync options, seamless migration from Dirsync, and production support in the next 90 days.

Please note there will no longer be separate releases of Azure AD Sync and Azure AD Connect. And we have no future releases of DirSync planned. Azure AD Connect is now your one stop shop for sync, sign on and all combinations of hybrid connections.

As always, we’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions you have!

Best Regards,

Alex Simons (Twitter: @Alex_A_Simons)

Director of Program Management

Microsoft Identity and Security Services Division