Azure & Active Directory Center

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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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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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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.