Microsoft Targets Cloud Logins With Azure Active Directory B2C
Based on its identity management software platform for enterprises, Microsoft opens Azure AD up to developers of consumer-facing online apps.Microsoft has launched Azure Active Directory (AD) B2C in North America, the company announced this week. Other regions, including Europe and the Asia-Pacific, will get the service in the coming months. Azure AD B2C builds on Microsoft's work on software that enables enterprises to control user access to their systems and data. As its name indicates, instead of acting as a gatekeeper for corporate computing systems, the service allows cloud developers to add identity services to their business-to-consumer (B2C) cloud applications. The Azure-delivered service is a "game changer for organizations of all sizes," Swaroop Krishnamurthy, senior program manager at Microsoft Azure Active Directory, wrote in a blog posting. Azure AD B2C is aimed at businesses "that want to offer consumers secure access to their apps, by allowing consumers to reuse their existing social accounts or creating new app-local ones." Behind the scenes, Azure AD B2C supports both the OpenID Connect and OAuth 2.0 protocols. According to Krishnamurthy, each of the service's "production-scale" B2C tenants can handle hundreds of millions of profiles. "We recently deployed new servers in our North American data centers exclusively for Azure AD B2C," he said.
Azure AD B2C allows developers to focus on their apps' core functionality while it handles securely connecting users with their online software, asserted Krishnamurthy. After integrating the offering, consumers can log-in with their existing social media accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. It also supports Amazon, and of course, Microsoft accounts.