Welcome to part 2 of this month’s Azure Partner Community blog series. .
- Read part 1 of the series
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by Frank Campise
If you are a partner that builds enterprise applications for customers, you have undoubtedly run into the requirement that your application needs to be tied to that given customer’s corporate identity management system or single-sign on solution. To quote Stuart Kwan from his Build 2015 session, “If you are successful, enterprise IT will require you to integrate your application with their enterprise identity management system.” He then went on to adjust his quote to more accurately state, “If you are successful, enterprise IT will require you to integrate your application with Active Directory.”
The reality here is that Active Directory is the de facto standard for an identity management system in enterprises today. As companies move more of their applications to the cloud, they will be looking to take advantage of Active Directory to secure those applications.
Azure Active Directory is the identity management system for your enterprise cloud applications, and comes with many benefits:
- The ability to synchronize with your existing on-premises Active Directory allowing you to utilize those identifies in the cloud
- Works with your LOB applications, regardless of whether they are native applications or browser based applications within the corporate environment or outside of the corporate firewalls. Use Azure AD for sign up, sign in, provisioning and directory services
- Customers that have implemented Office 365 already have Azure Active Directory. I published a blog post earlier this year about the opportunity around the integration of LOB apps with Azure Active Directory for Office 365 customers
- Advanced security monitoring benefits that only become available by running the service in the cloud
And, Azure AD has traction with many of the customers you may already working with. As of the Ignite conference in May 2015:
- 86% of Fortune 500 companies are on the Microsoft Cloud (Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and PowerBI)
- Azure AD manages identity data for more than 5M organizations
- There are more than 500M objects hosted on Azure Active Directory
- There are 50M Office 365 users that are active every month
- Azure AD supports more than 1 billion authentications every day on Azure AD and over 1 trillion authentications since release of the service
Your resources for learning about Azure Active Directory
Azure Active Directory is a key technology that you as a partner will want to get up to speed on if you plan to build applications in the cloud. In the remainder of this post, I’ll focus on resources you can use to get yourself and your team up to speed on Azure Active Directory. These resources provide a good high-level understanding of Azure Active Directory for application development partners.
Stuart Kwan’s session from Build 2015 is worth watching. He does a great job of laying out the scenarios for an application developer, covering the high-level benefits of Azure AD and providing some good roadmap information. Watch the video.
Then, take some time to review the content online for Microsoft Azure Identity & Access Management. They provide a good overview about what these services offer customers:
Integrating Azure Active Directory with your application
- Azure Active Directory Developer’s Guide (online documentation) – information about how to integrate Azure AD across a number of platforms (iOS, Android, .NET, Windows Phone, Windows Store App, Xamarin, Cordova), as well as simple how-to’s
- Develop Modern Native Applications with Azure Active Directory (200 level Build 2015 session) – learn how to easily add enterprise-grade authentication capabilities to your mobile applications
- Develop Modern Web Applications with Azure Active Directory (200 level Build 2015 session) – learn how to integrate your web apps with Azure AD for simplified, enterprise grade single sign on.
- Cloud Identity: Troubleshooting and recipes for devs (200 level Build 2015 session) – learn how to recognize, understand, and repair the most common errors developers face related to authentication problems in the cloud
- Developing Web and Cross Platform Mobile Apps with Azure Active Directory (300 level Ignite 2015 session) – learn how to use Azure Active Directory and its dev libraries to easily handle Web and API authentication
- Develop Windows Universal Apps with Azure AD and the Windows 10 Identity API (blog post)
Microsoft Virtual Academy courses
- Customizing ASP.NET Authentication with Identity (100 level training modules) – learn how to use the new ASP.NET Identity system to manage access to your web apps and services. Explore the evolution of membership and identity in ASP.NET, and get real-world guidance and best practices on how to implement the newly architected system so you can easily define and manage users
- Azure Active Directory Core Skills Jump Start (200 level training modules) – learn how to configure single sign-on, provide user self-service management, and set up multifactor authentication. Get what you need to master identity management, resolve password reset issues, and more
- Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (200 level training modules) – Get an overview about what Azure Active Directory offers to enable an organization's identity management in the cloud
- Multi-Factor Authentication (300 level training modules) –Take a deep dive into Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), which adds a critical second layer of security to user sign-ins and transactions
- Read the Active Directory Team blog for the latest announcements and information from the product team
- Search the Azure Partner Readiness Catalog for related resources