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Do You Use 'Workplace Join' for BYOD?

When Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 R2 back in the fall of 2013, one of the many features we pointed out at the time was "Workplace Join," which is designed to let organizations  give single sign-on capability to their bring your own device (BYOD) employees -- or for anything not designed to join an Active Directory domain. Simply put, it lets you register a non-domain-based device running Windows 8.1, iOS and Android to Active Directory. 

Microsoft was especially happy to tout Workplace Join when it launched its Windows RT-based Surface 2 back in September 2013. In an interview with Surface Director of Marketing Cyril Belikoff at the time, she talked up the Workplace Join capability with me. "Workplace Joins are the access components of a directory service that allows a user to use their ID and password to access their corporate network documents and shares in a secure way," Belikoff said. "It's not a fully domained device but you get the administration of mobile device management and get the access component."  Last year, Microsoft added support for Windows 7-based systems as well.

Workplace Join does require Active Directory Federation Services, Active Directory on premises and the Device Registration Service, all part of the "Federation Services Role on Windows Server 2012 R2," as described in the TechNet library. 

I've talked to a variety of mobile device management vendors and suppliers of Active Directory management and auditing tools and I've heard various views. Some say customers (or prospective ones) are questioning how these tools will support Workplace Join and others recommend using the device enrollment features in their wares.

Microsoft boosting the functionality of Workplace Join in the forthcoming Windows 10 operating system could be a factor that builds to its popularity.

Please share your experience or views on Workplace Join. Is it suitable for your BYOD authentication requirements? Drop me a line at [email protected]

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/08/2015 at 2:31 PM


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