Corporate users prefer to use the corporate identity to access their applications irrespective of the hosting platform. With the increase in cloud adoption, many of the applications moved from on-premises to cloud with different access right implementations. Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) implementation resolved the issue for certain level.
New Azure based AD along with Directory allow the user to work seamlessly across different cloud solutions like Office 365, Visual Studio Online, Azure, and so on.
Directory integration can be set up in different ways
- Directory Sync: synchronize on-premises directory objects to cloud. Users will use different user name and password to access resources in cloud and on-premises
- Directory Sync with Password Sync: directory object along with password will be synchronized to cloud based AD. Users will use the same credentials to access the resources in cloud as well as in on-premises
- Directory Sync with Single Sign-On: Set up a security token service like ADFS in on-premises. This will allow the user to use the AD corporate credential to access resources in cloud and on-premises
There are many directory integration tools available like Azure Active Directory Synchronization tool (DirSync), Azure Active Directory Synchronization Services (AAD Sync) and Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2. AAD Connect is a single tool, which help the entire process of directory sync. This tool is in public preview release now.