Azure portal gains public preview of AzureAD admin experience

Kareem Anderson

data science virutal machine azure

Microsoft has flipped the switch on its AzureAD admin experience and released the service into public preview in the Azure portal.

Just like that, customers looking to enhance their Azure management experience, Microsoft has now enabled a treasure trove of new features with its release of AzureAD admin public preview that includes four new key staples of design.

  • Simple, streamlined experiences. Our new experience is easier to learn and simpler to use. This lets you quickly deliver value for your organization. The key to this principle is a set of streamlined flows for completing routine management tasks.
  • Insight through data. You told us that you wanted greater visibility into what’s going on in your environment. In our new experience, you will see contextually-relevant data everywhere you look enabling you to make great decisions quickly.
  • Visibility for high-priority issues. To manage “at scale” in a large organization, you asked for better visibility into the important issues that need your attention. Our new experience will make it easier for you to find and fix problems in your environment, and to prevent future problems.
  • Alignment with other services. You asked us to align the management experiences for Azure AD with other Microsoft services that you use. Our new management experience will be strongly aligned with the other Microsoft services you use like Office 365, Azure and Intune.

In a lengthy post on the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog, senior program manager within Microsoft’s Identity division, Jeff Staiman covers the myriad of new features preview customers can look forward to trying out.

A brief summary of notes and a walkthrough of the new preview on the release include:

Trying it out

You can use this preview for most of your day-to-day directory administration tasks related to users, groups, and applications. You also can also use the preview for many of the tasks to get your Azure AD configured for a production environment, things like verifying your custom domain names, getting started with Azure AD Connect, and configuring custom branding and self-service password reset.

Easier access

One of the cool things about the new Azure portal is that you don’t need an Azure subscription to use it! So you and other administrators in your organization can manage your tenant in the new portal without any of you needing to get and manage access to an Azure subscription. Just sign in as usual with your work or school account.

Overview blade

The overview blade gives you access to everything you need in your directory. The ‘resource menu’ on the left of the blade lets you navigate to core Azure AD resources and features such as users and groups, applications, Azure AD Connect, as well as to directory-wide features such as domain names.

Managing users and groups

Our new experience makes it easier for you to manage users and groups in your organization. To try it, click the Users and Groups item on the resource menu. You can also get to this experience using the left navigation bar of the portal: click on the More services menu, and select Users and groups.

View of the new Azure Active Directory 'blades'
View of the new Azure Active Directory ‘blades’

User-centric access

One of the coolest things we’ve added to our new experience is a user-centric view of an individual user’s access to resources. For example, click on the Groups item in the resource menu for a user, to see the groups in which the user is a member, either by assignment or by dynamic membership

And much more.

To read the full description of features and tweaks coming with the public preview of AzureAD admin, head over to the Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog from Microsoft or skip the introductions and jump right in by getting hands on with the preview here.

Let us know your thoughts about Microsoft moving many of its properties into preview, Insiders or beta programs.