Azure Active Directory Expands Its Automatic User Provisioning

Seven more applications can now be provisioned automatically, making it easier for IT administrators to add more SaaS apps for users.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has broadened its Azure Active Directory application to add automatic provisioning and deprovisioning capabilities for seven additional popular software-as-a-service apps used by enterprises for a wide range of tasks, from collaboration to team organization.

The new capabilities were announced by Alex Simons, director of program management for Microsoft's identity division, in an Aug. 7 post on the company's Enterprise Mobility + Security Blog.

Under the expansion, the Azure Active Directory user provisioning service will now include automatic support for the following web-based apps:

  • Asana, which lets enterprises coordinate and organize internal teams so they can do better work together. Asana helps team members know what needs to get done, who is responsible for doing it and when it is due.
  • BlueJeans, a video, audio and web conferencing service that works together with collaboration tools used by businesses.
  • Bonusly, a recognition and reward platform that helps companies recognize their workers and enrich organizational culture. The application lets employees recognize peers, direct reports and managers.
  • Cornerstone OnDemand, a unified cloud platform that companies can use to recruit, train and manage their workers.
  • LucidChart, an application that lets workers create diagrams for a wide range of uses and collaborate any time on any device.
  • ThousandEyes, a cloud platform that allows business users to see, understand and improve network experiences for users and applications around the globe.
  • Zendesk, a customer service and engagement platform that can be scaled for businesses as they grow.

The requests for the newly added app support came from existing users of the Active Directory user provisioning service, wrote Simons.

"This service currently manages over 30 million user identities stored across various SaaS apps and Microsoft services," he wrote. "Since this time last year, we've seen nearly 100 percent growth in the number of Azure AD tenants using automated user provisioning for at least one SaaS app. With all of this usage, customers frequently ask us to provision and deprovision user accounts to more of the SaaS applications they use."

The user provisioning service has for years provided customers with the ability to set up automated, policy-based provisioning and deprovisioning of user accounts to a variety of popular SaaS applications, including ones that implement the SCIM 2.0 standard, according to Microsoft.  

"Unlike traditional provisioning solutions, which require on-premises infrastructure and custom code, the provisioning service is hosted in the cloud, and features pre-integrated connectors that can be set up and managed using the Azure portal," wrote Simon.

To find out more about user provisioning, Microsoft features a new demo video that shows how it can be done for cloud applications using the service. Microsoft also offers information about performance guidance for the user provisioning service, which can help businesses forecast how long it will take for them to complete user provisioning in their environments.

If the SaaS apps that enterprises use are not yet part of the Azure Active Directory automatic provisioning services, Microsoft wants to hear about it. The company said it is always accepting requests for additional user provisioning support.