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Azure Active Directory

Published: April 5, 2013

Updated: April 21, 2014

Azure Active Directory is a service that provides identity and access capabilities for on-premises and cloud applications. Developers can use features of Azure AD to:

  • Implement single sign-on and single sign-out for line of business (LoB) applications and software as a service (SaaS) providers

  • Query and manage cloud directory objects, such as users and groups, by using the Graph API

  • Integrate with on-premises Active Directory to sync directory data to the cloud and enable single sign-on across on-premises and cloud applications

Azure AD is a highly-available and highly-scalable identity management service for small and large organizations. It enables organizations to use their corporate credentials to authenticate to new or existing applications, factoring out the authentication process and eliminating the need for many different identities. Organizations that already use on-premise Active Directory can synchronize their identities with Azure AD to provide seamless integration between on-premises and cloud resources.

Application developers can integrate their applications with Azure AD to provide single sign-on functionality for their users. This enables enterprise applications to be hosted in the cloud and to easily authenticate users with corporate credentials. It also enables SaaS providers to provide easier authentication for users in Azure AD organizations when authenticating to their services. For more information about the authentication scenarios that Azure AD supports, see Authentication Scenarios for Azure AD.

Read the sections below to learn more about the features of Azure AD and how it can be used for your organization and applications.

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