Microsoft ADFS to Azure Active Directory

Discover the benefits and complexities of migrating from AD FS to Azure AD in this informative webinar. Learn about the technical advantages, user experience enhancements, and security features of Azure AD for modern organizations.


The migration from Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to Azure Active Directory (AD) presents a significant shift in identity and access management for organizations. This article synthesizes a comprehensive discussion on this migration, highlighting the technical benefits, complexities, and strategic approaches.

Understanding AD FS and Azure AD

The session began with a comparison between AD FS and Azure AD. While both offer single sign-on (SSO) and various protection capabilities, Azure AD stands out as a more robust identity and access management solution, offering additional features like identity protection, governance, and application provisioning. This distinction positions Azure AD as a more comprehensive solution for modern organizational needs.

Technical Benefits of Azure AD

Key advantages of migrating to Azure AD include simplified identity management, access to a wider range of applications, advanced security features, scalability, and reduced infrastructure costs. Azure AD’s capabilities far surpass those of AD FS, particularly in areas like conditional access and identity protection.

The Complexity of AD FS Environments

The intricacies of managing an AD FS environment were discussed, highlighting the challenges in overseeing different layers and components, such as user provisioning, auditing, and governance across various applications. Azure AD offers a unified platform to manage these aspects more efficiently.

The Azure AD Migration Process

A detailed walkthrough of the Azure AD migration process covered aspects like app migration, authentication considerations, and the use of tools like Azure AD Connect Health for AD FS. This process involves transitioning users and applications to Azure AD, ensuring a consistent single sign-on experience, and decommissioning the AD FS environment upon completion.

Single Sign-On and User Experience

The session emphasized how Azure AD enhances user experience with seamless single sign-on capabilities across various applications. This feature simplifies access management and improves security.

Azure AD Conditional Access

A demonstration of Azure AD’s conditional access policies illustrated how they can be configured to enhance security during migration. These policies provide granular control over user authentication based on various conditions and contexts.

B2B Collaboration and Passwordless Experience

 Azure AD's B2B collaboration feature facilitates seamless interaction with external partners. The discussion also touched on the benefits of a passwordless experience, enhancing security and user convenience.

Identity Governance and Entitlement Management

Azure AD’s entitlement management was highlighted as a crucial feature, automating the process of resource assignment and access reviews, thus streamlining identity governance.

Considerations for App Migration

The process of app migration involves prioritizing applications based on factors like compatibility with Azure AD and the complexity of claim rules. The Azure App Gallery plays a crucial role in simplifying this process.

Authentication and User Management

The session covered strategies for aligning user passwords with Azure AD, implementing password hash synchronization, and exploring seamless sign-on options for different user scenarios.

Adoption and Change Management

The importance of managing the impact on end-users was stressed, emphasizing the need for effective communication and training throughout the migration process.

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