News

Windows Azure Active Directory Getting No-Cost Enhancements

Microsoft this week announced that it will release some of its Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD) enhancements before year's end at no extra cost.

WAAD hit general availability release status in April, but Microsoft has various Windows Azure add-on projects (such as BizTalk Services, Backup and Cache) that are mostly still at the preview stage in various categories, as listed here. WAAD is a free service, according to Microsoft's pricing details page, but not all Windows Azure add-ons will be free. For instance, the Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication service that rolled out last month costs $2 per user (or per authentication), billed on a monthly basis.

In a blog post this week by Alex Simons, director of program management for Microsoft's Active Directory team, Microsoft listed five new "application access" enhancements to WAAD that will be offered for free:

  • Single sign-on for apps in the Windows Azure app gallery. There's no surprise here as Microsoft previously announced that this "preintegrated" single sign-on support for hosted applications would be offered at no charge. The gallery currently supports 227 services, including hosted solutions such as Dropbox, Gmail, and Salesforce.com, among others.
  • Application access controls. IT pros can assign who has access to hosted apps.
  • User provisioning. Microsoft is currently working with software vendors to enable the automatic provisioning of hosted app access.
  • Security reporting. Microsoft is adding an access reporting capability that shows app use, as well as "unusual patterns." An example of unusual pattern might be a user logging in from multiple locations concurrently.
  • Application Access Panel. This portal is a single place for users to launch applications or change their passwords and other settings.

These five free application access enhancements will be generally available for use with WAAS by the end of 2013, according to Alex Simons, director of program management for Microsoft's Active Directory team.

Simons suggested that WAAD use was growing. He cited 430 billion user authentications, which was "up 43% from June." Back then, Microsoft had said WAAD had processed "265 billion authentication requests from around the world."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Featured

  • Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

    Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

  • Microsoft Suggests Disabling Old Protocols with Exchange Server 2019

    Exchange Server 2019 with Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) can help organizations rid themselves of old authentication protocols, which constitute a potential security risk.

  • Microsoft Previews New Edge Browser on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

    Microsoft announced this week that it has released previews of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge Web browsers for use on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 systems.

  • Exchange Server June Cumulative Updates Arrive, But with Red Tape

    Microsoft released its quarterly cumulative updates (CUs) for Exchange Server 2013, 2016 and 2019 products this week, but added an extra step for IT pros to consider before installing them.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.