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Microsoft Launches Azure AD External Identities

A new External Identities capability in the Azure Active Directory service became generally available (GA) this week.

External Identities, sold as part of Azure AD Premium P1 or P2 plans, lets organizations build branded forms for users to input their credentials, with the aim of granting network access to external users, such as an organization's partners or customers. The credentials used in these forms can be from a Microsoft account or from social media identity providers, such as Facebook or Google.

Microsoft had previewed External Identities back in May 2020 during its Build developer event. It was also one of the Azure AD features highlighted at this month's Ignite event as having reached GA status.

Some notable External Identities features include:

  • Facebook and Google ID support
  • One-time passcode support via e-mail
  • Microsoft accounts support
  • Ability to define what user attributes to collect on forms
  • API connector support for validating a user's identity or form input, or sending information to another workflow
  • Microsoft Graph API support

Last May, Microsoft had said that External Identities would work with the Azure AD B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C services when used to invite guest users. This week's announcement described some External Identity capabilities for Azure AD B2C that would be reaching GA status "in the next few weeks."

These coming External Identity Azure AD B2C capabilities are:

  • Simplified B2C user flows
  • Phone sign-ups during one-time password processes
  • API connectors for extending B2C signups
  • Apple ID support for B2C signups

In addition, External Identities support for "Identity Protection and Conditional Access policies for Azure AD B2C" is expected to reach GA status sometime "later this spring" for Premium P2 plan subscribers.

The Azure AD B2C service additionally will be getting its service-level agreement uptime bumped up to "four nines" (99.99 percent), starting on May 25, as previously announced.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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