Getting Started with Azure Active Directory Free Edition

 Introduction

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud based directory and identity management service.

More in-depth detail about Azure AD can be found here.

The article illustrate the registration process and the essential configuration tasks for Azure AD free edition for use of organization internal users. (Future posts will look at other scenarios)

Preparation tasks

The follow preparation tasks will be required:

  1. Have a Microsoft account ready to use for sign-up;
    1. Generate a Microsoft account by going here;
    2. Follow the on-screen wizard and complete sign-up;
  2. A credit Card – This will only be used for verification and not be charged unless you explicitly upgrade to a paid offer;
  3. Optional – External Domain Name e.g. schmarr.com to integrate into Azure AD;
    1. P.S. You’ll need to be able to create TXT records in the external domain.

Installation

Registration

Please follow theses steps in registering your free Azure subscription that will host Azure AD:

  1. Go to the following url: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/trial/get-started-active-directory/;
  2. Click on “Create a free Azure Account”;
  3. Click “Start Now”;
  4. Fill in the form and submit;
  5. The subscription will take up to 4 minutes to be created.
  6. Once the process is complete you should see the following screen:

AzureADFree-ScreenShot1

By now a default Azure AD is already created, skip “Create Azure AD” section if default instance shouldn’t be used.

Create Azure AD (Optional)

Follow the these steps to create a new Azure AD:

  1. In the left corner click on the “+ New” icon
  2. Click “Security + Identity”
  3. Click “Active Directory”
  4. It will re-direct to the Azure Classic portal (This might change in the future)
  5. You will get the following Wizard
  6. AzureADFree-ScreenShot2
  7. Fill in the form and click the check to create the Azure AD

Essential Azure AD Configuration

At this point Azure AD is fully functional, with the following constraints:

  • Manual process is required for creating user accounts (GUI, PowerShell or CSV import);
  • User passwords will not be in-sync with their network passwords;
  • Usernames at this stage will be <username>@<AzureADName>.onmicrosoft.com;
    • Users will be required to remember their usernames. (Most users find it difficult remember their password);

Follow my Essential Azure Configuration guide here if you want to address the constraints mentioned above.

Conclusion

After completion of this guide, Azure AD free edition will available and be functional with available features.

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