Azure & Active Directory Center

ENow Software's Azure & Active Directory blog built by Microsoft MVPs for IT/Sys Admins.

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Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM

Michael Van Horenbeeck is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) and Exchange Server MVP from Belgium, with a strong focus on Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Active Directory, and a bit of Lync. Michael has been active in the industry for about 12 years and developed a love for Exchange back in 2000. He is a frequent blogger and a member of the Belgian Unified Communications User Group Pro-Exchange. Besides writing about technology, Michael is a regular contributor to The UC Architects podcast and speaker at various conferences around the world. You can follow Michael via twitter (@mvanhorenbeeck) or his blog michaelvh.wordpress.com.

A Closer Look at Azure AD Connect – Part 2

Image of Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM
Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM
In the previous part of this article series, we've taken a first look at Azure AD Connect and reviewed what a default installation looks like using the express settings. In this part, we'll dive deeper into the advanced options of the installation wizard. The express settings option likely meets the needs for most organizations looking into deploying directory synchronization alone. However, if you are looking at a more complex synchronization scenario, like a multi-forest environment or if you would like to deploy and configure Active Directory Federation Services, the advanced options are what you are looking for! 

Note: The advanced options, especially the ones related to the advanced synchronization scenarios, are very powerful and can create potentially disastrous consequences. Even though we will be discussing the various options throughout the next few articles, do not attempt to make any changes if you are not completely familiar and comfortable with the option and its effects on your deployment and environment!

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A Closer Look at Azure AD Connect – Part 1

Image of Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM
Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM

As reported earlier, Microsoft released Azure AD Connect to the public on June 24. The long-anticipated tool is the successor to Azure AD Sync and DirSync. But it’s much more than that. 

Although a large part of Azure AD Connect still revolves around directory synchronization, I like to look at it more as a "Cloud Identity Enablement" — a solution rather than just a synchronization component. This is because Azure AD Connect not only allows you to deploy directory synchronization for almost every possible identity scenario you can dream of, but it also enables you to set up and configure identity federation through Active Directory Federation Services from within the same wizard.

Configuring identity federation for your Office 365 tenant consists of three key steps:

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Office 365 Solutions

3rd-Party Federation Solutions for Office 365: Celestix ADFS Bridge

Image of Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM
Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM

As mentioned in my 2015 New Year in Review "Here We Are" blog article, the purpose of this article series is to explore 3rd-party federation solutions that work with Office 365 and which can be an alternative to a Windows’ built-in ADFS server role. In this first article however, I will be discussing a solution which is somewhat different from the others that I will be looking into.

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Azure AD Sync Tool HTML Report

Image of Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM
Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM

Last year, Exchange Server MVP Mike Crowley wrote a script which would interactively report on the Office 365 Directory Synchronization tool. In the meantime –last September to be more exact – Microsoft released the new “Azure AD Sync Service” tool which seems deemed to replace DirSync at some point in the future.As I do see the tool being used in production from time to time, effectively already replacing DirSync, I thought it would be useful to “upgrade” Mike’s script to work with the new kid on the block.As Mike and I were going back and forth about this, he had a great idea to make the script create an HTML report instead of having it display the information interactively. As such, you can schedule the task and have the report emailed to you.While the code below is definitely a “version 1” and it can use some improvements like error handling, I did not want to keep it from you. Over time – especially as AADSync gets new features – I will be adding new functionalities to this script as well.You can use the script, as depicted in the following example. The script will create a filed called “AADSyncInfo.html” in the specified file path:

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Sander-AD-Book-2nd edition copy

Want to learn more about Active Directory?

Active Directory Administration Cookbook, 2nd Edition

In this book, Microsoft MVP & Technical Editor of ENow's Azure & Active Directory Center, Sander Berkouwer will share the intricacies of managing Azure AD, Azure AD Connect as well as Active Directory for administration in the cloud and on Windows Server 2022.