If you have been using the Azure AD Connect utility to get your customers up and running on Office 365, then you know what a tremendous improvement we have gotten since the initial DirSync days. When Azure AD Connect went into General Availability in June of 2015 partners were excited to have an updated tool that had so much promise! Azure AD Connect delivered on that promise and gave us a quick way to stand up directory synchronization with the O365 Azure AD tenant, and allowed us to have advanced configuration options built into the single tool so we could implement password write back and even ADFS from the start with the installation wizard.
Microsoft received a ton of tremendous feedback on the Azure AD Connect utility, as well as some feature add requests to improve on the utility. I am happy to announce, that just today, Azure AD Connect Version 1.1 has gone into General Availability. Here are some of the much anticipated functionality and feature improvements in this release:
1. Reduction in the time in between synchronizations of your on premises Active Directory and the cloud. Prior to today the lowest you could go is 3 hours, with the new iteration today you can reduce this down to a 30 minute interval. Technically you could set it to whatever you want now, but it will not honor less than 30 minutes.
2. Support for automatic upgrades!!! Yes you heard right, if you are running Azure AD Connect today, this will be the last manual upgrade you should need to do. Once Azure AD Connect 1.1 is installed and you have selected the ‘Express Settings’ option, you will be able to take upgrades automatically to the Azure AD Connect Utility.
3. Support for Domain and OU filtering inside the wizard. This is another highly requested item, whereas previously you would need to setup the entire org to sync and then open the miisclient on the sync machine to implement filtering options, now it is simply part of the wizard installation process.
4. The ability to switch between sign on modes is now supported in the wizard. Say you start with an Office 365 pilot using Password Sync to the cloud, but when your customer is ready to go full bore and decides to implement federation, you can now change the method through the Azure AD Connect wizard, simply by running the installation wizard again.
Till Next Time,