Office 365™ Active Directory® Integration

When it comes to groundbreaking IT solutions, Microsoft® tops the list in many categories. For instance, their on-prem directory service, Active Directory® is still one of the most widely used identity and access management (IAM) tools around in spite of the fact it was created about 20 years ago. Similarly, Office 365™ is a go-to in many organizations as well, delivering the functionality of their original Office® suite (and more) from the cloud. As such, many IT admins are curious how to best go about an Office 365 Active Directory integration.

Microsoft’s Solution

Since both Active Directory (AD) and Office 365 (O365) are both Microsoft software, one might think the best option is to use a solution from Microsoft. In this case, that solution comes from the Azure® cloud infrastructure suite, namely in the form of Azure Active Directory®.

Azure Active Directory (AAD) is a cloud IAM platform designed specifically for managing Azure users and their relation/access to other Microsoft solutions, including the Office 365 suite, as well as a limited web application single sign-on (SSO) tool. While many believed that AAD would be the cloud replacement for on-prem AD, it’s apparent that is not Microsoft’s plan. Their plan is to use AAD as the link between AD and Microsoft’s cloud solutions, especially Azure and Office 365. This is demonstrated by the fact that IT admins will still require a traditional AD setup to manage on-prem systems and legacy applications, with Microsoft’s proprietary directory extension (i.e., Azure AD Connect) to bridge AD identities to the Azure cloud.

Hiccups in the Plan

So, for organizations looking for Office 365 Active Directory integration, Azure Active Directory Connect could certainly be the solution to use. Unfortunately, AAD is limited as far as a full IAM approach is concerned. For one, in order to do anything significant, organizations will need to purchase more than just AAD and the on-prem AD, but AAD Connect and AAD Domain Services (DS), too.

Beyond that, AD + the AAD suite of services is not optimized for use with non-Windows resources, (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Zach DeMeyer. Read the original post at:

Zach DeMeyer

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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