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Microsoft Warns of Dying Azure Active Directory Sync Tools

Microsoft is pounding the nails into the coffins of its deprecated Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync tools, warning that they'll both reach end of support on April 13.

Reaching that stage means that no future product updates will arrive from Microsoft, including security updates. What's more, those tools won't even connect with Microsoft datacenters by year's end.

"Azure AD will stop accepting connections from DirSync and Azure AD Sync after December 31, 2017," Microsoft warned, in an announcement this week.

Microsoft recommends switching to its Azure AD Connect service instead. Azure AD Connect is wizard-like tool that sets up connections with the Azure AD service. It's the only sync tool left standing after Microsoft indicated last year that it planned to put an end to its DirSync and Azure AD Sync tools.

Moving to Azure AD Connect from those tools isn't that straightforward, although 35,000 of Microsoft's customers have made the switch since last year, according to Microsoft.

DirSync users have the option of performing an in-place upgrade if they are under a 50,000-objects limit or they can do "a parallel deployment," which involves using a new server running Azure AD Connect. For Azure AD Sync users, Microsoft recommends performing an in-place upgrade. Details are described in this document.

In other Azure AD news, Microsoft indicated last week that it will be cleaning up the sign-in branding for users of its Azure AD Business-to-Business (B2B) service. The gist of this change is that Microsoft will be making the visual images on the log-in page more consistent for end users. This so-called "branding" improvement will be a little different depending on the log-in scenarios for both employees and guests. Microsoft's announcement offered four possible scenarios.

Organizations will either see "a positive change or no change at all" when Microsoft cleans up the branding. It's not clear when those changes will arrive, though.

About the Author

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

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