Microsoft Enhancing Azure Portal with Intune and Command-Line Tools

Microsoft this week described some coming improvements to the Azure portal, which is a browser-accessible Web page used to carry out all sorts of management activities using Azure services.

The improvements included a preview of administrator controls for Intune, Microsoft's mobile management service. Those Intune controls are getting built directly into the Azure portal. Next, there's an early test available of a new Azure portal shell experience that is marrying command-line tools with graphical user interface-based tools in the same shell.

Intune in Azure Portal
On the Intune side, Microsoft is floating a public preview of Intune in the Azure portal. It will let organizations manage mobile devices and applications from within the Azure console. Right now, the preview is just for "new and trial tenants," according to Microsoft's Intune announcement. However, organizations with existing Intune tenancies may get the preview in the next months.

"When your existing tenant is migrated to the new grouping experience you will also be migrated to preview the new [Intune] admin experience on your tenant," the Intune announcement explained. "We'll be migrating existing tenants over the next few months, [and] you will be notified when your tenant is ready for use on the new Azure portal."

The reference to the "new grouping experience" likely refers to Microsoft's plans to move Intune tenants from using the Intune Groups capability to using the Azure Active Directory Groups approach, a switch that was announced in August.

Microsoft eventually plans to move "all Intune functionality" to the Azure portal, according to an Intune in Azure introduction document. Right now, not everything is supported in the preview, though.

Integrated Azure Portal
Microsoft is looking for testers of an Azure portal experience that combines command-line tools with graphical tools. Microsoft is calling it "the Azure cloud console." Users get "not only the Azure command line tools, but also standard editors and tools you would expect" with the graphical user interface, Microsoft's Azure announcement indicated.

Unlike the Intune announcement, this integrated cloud console isn't getting rolled out to Azure tenancies. Instead, Microsoft is soliciting volunteer testers. Sign-up can be accessed at this link.

The integrated cloud console portal automatically authenticates access to the command-line tools when users log in. It has "all Azure command-line tools" preinstalled. Activities in the integrated portal are "preserved across cloud shell sessions," Microsoft promised.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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