Category Archives: Directory Integration

Everything about Directory Synchronization, ADFS, SSO

ADFS in multi forest environments

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

ADFS in multi forest environments is still a very hot topic based on my day to day experience. Even if I’m concentrating more on cloud application development projects for more than 8 months, I still get a lot of questions from partners, colleagues, customers, IT admins from all around the world regarding this specific scenario. To put this in a little bit more perspective, the questions are usually asked in the context of Azure Active Directory, so the already renowned federated identity scenario. So that’s why I decided to blog about it, hoping to complement the scarce existing documentation.

Before we get started I would like to clarify one thing. Even if I will reference a lot Azure AD, everything I describe here is not restricted to Azure AD as a relying party. In fact, last time I worked on such a scenario, the relying party was AWS. So let’s get started.

The basic scenario is the following: a company has two or more Active Directory forest and one Azure AD. Using Azure AD Connect we can synchronize several forests to the same Azure AD. The question arises on the ADFS design. How many ADFS farms would we need? How would this work? Is this supported? Continue reading

Testing Azure AD per app MFA and conditional access based on network location

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Azure AD conditional access and per app MFA is globally available starting today, as announced by Alex Simmons. This feature was in preview for some time, but now, that it is globally available, it can be used in production environments. Since this is a new feature, I played a little bit around with it and I would like to share some insights.

Azure AD per app MFA and conditional access allows administrators to set MFA requirements on applications that are registered in Azure AD. This enables interesting scenarios, like for example requiring MFA for Exchange Online, but not for SharePoint Online, if a request comes from outside the corporate network. In order for this to work, you would have to activate MFA first and define the IP ranges that define your corporate network in CIDR format. You should be able to do this by accessing following URL: https://account.activedirectory.windowsazure.com/usermanagement/mfasettings.aspxContinue reading

Azure AD Connect default synchronization interval and manual sync process have totally changed

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Few weeks back I wrote a blog post describing how you can manually trigger an Azure AD Connect synchronization. Well, you can forget almost everything I wrote there, because Azure AD Connect default synchronization interval and manual sync process have totally changed starting with Azure AD Connect version 1.1.105.0. Let’s take a look at what’s new.

The first thing to note is that DirectorySyncClientCmd.exe does not exist anymore. No matter where you are looking for it, you won’t find this executable, so don’t lose your time. Secondly, the Azure AD Connect Task scheduler is not visible in Task Scheduler anymore. So, don’t lose your time looking for it either. What we have instead is more PowerShell. And since I am a PowerShell fan, I really like the new approach.  Continue reading

Azure AD Connect synchronization rules

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

In older version of directory synchronization tools we normally used the miisclient.exe to perform different complex tasks, like configuring an alternate login ID or implementing attribute based filtering. With Azure AD Connect this has changed and all associated and deprecated features of older tools have been removed from the UI of miisclient.exe. In order to accomplish these tasks in Azure AD Connect, we now use synchronization rules via the Synchronization Rules Editor.

But first of all, what are synchronization rules? Azure AD Connect synchronization rules are a modular definition of logic and are used to define almost everything, including precedence, object deletion, and other rules that were previously disjointed. A synchronization rule in Azure AD Connect is bound to a single connector, either to the AD connector or to the Azure AD connector, but never to both connectors at the same time. Each rule has a certain precedence and precedence defines the specific order in which rules are applied. For instance, a synchronization rule with precedence 100 will be applied first and one with 101 immediately afterwards.  Continue reading

Azure AD Connect – how to manually trigger a synchronization

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Update: Azure AD Connect default sync intervals and manual sync process have totally changed starting with version 1.1.105.0 released in February 2016. Please refer to THIS article to find out how to manually trigger a synchronization cycle.

I don’t know if you have noticed so far, but I am a very  big fan of Azure AD and everything that surrounds it, like Azure AD Connect, ADFS an all features that come together with Azure AD like password write back (only with Azure AD Premium), Azure AD join, Azure AD B2C, Enterprise State Roaming and the list could go on. I also noticed that I wrote very little about Azure AD on this blog, so I decided to concentrate more on this the coming days. And since this week I had a partner engagement where this question showed up, I decided to explain here how can you manually trigger a synchronization cycle using Azure AD Connect.

First of all, this question arises because in older versions of DirSync we used to do this in a certain way, but with Azure AD Connect this process has changed. So administrators that were very familiar with this process in DirSync start to get confused.

Secondly, before starting a synchronization, we would have to decide if we need a full synchronization or a delta synchronization, right? As you may know, a full synchronization imports once again all your objects and synchronizes them again to Azure AD. A delta synchronization will synchronize only objects that have changed in Active Directory since the last synchronization, so users for which you may have changed an attribute, new users or deleted users (applies also to groups and contacts, of course).

So assuming that we need to trigger a full synchronization, we have one great option: PowerShell. Only that this is a little bit different now. So first of all, you would need to open PowerShell and navigate to the following location: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure AD Sync\Bin. So the very basic PowerShell cmdlet to do this would be:  Continue reading

Enterprise State Roaming – everything’s possible when Azure AD and Windows 10 work together

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Starting with Windows 8.1 I noticed that when I change my laptop, most of the settings and favourites will be there on the new device. This was a great thing! However, I asked myself if this would be possible also when changing my company laptop. With Azure AD and Windows 10 this is now possible, using a new feature called Enterprise State Roaming.  Continue reading

Using PowerShell to assign service admin roles in Azure AD

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Do you remember the times when you couldn’t assign service admin roles in Office 365? Those times are not gone for a long time, but however, it was not possible to add an Exchange Online Administrator, or a SharePoint Administrator. So, in most cases, companies used Global Administrators to manage Exchange, for instance, but the same admins had also access to SharePoint. It’s clear that this was odd.

The reason why this was not possible is that users and correspondent administrative roles are handled in Azure AD. So each Office 365 organization also has an Azure AD, only that many don’t know. And back then, administrative roles weren’t properly integrated across different services. However, this is possible now and we can also use PowerShell do handle everything. Continue reading

How to manage access to corporate Twitter accounts using Azure Active Directory

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Azure Active Directory is really great because it gives administrators in an organization the possibilities to centrally manage identities, authentication and authorization to all application that employees use for their day to day work. And you can do this also for services and applications Twitter, Facebook and other around 3000 further applications that support integration with Azure Active Directory. And this is very useful.

Let’s say that Jim is the IT Manager for a global PR agency. They have several teams, managing different customer accounts, including their social media presence. Security is very important and in order to avoid account hijacking it would be great if employees could access the Twitter accounts they manage without knowing the password for that specific Twitter account. The good news is that this is possible with Azure Active Directory.  Continue reading

Build an Office 365 Identity lab in Microsoft Azure

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Managing identities is a vital part of cyber-security in general and especially in the cloud. Organizations may want to manage identities, authentication and authorization by themselves, also when users are accessing cloud resources and workloads. They can do this without any problems by using Azure AD Sync to synchronize Active Directory Objects to Azure AD, and therefore keep the source of authority of these objects in the organization. On the other hand, organizations may use ADFS to federate identities. By doing this, authentication and authorization decisions are made also in the organization.

IT professionals normally try to build such labs in order to understand and see how everything works. These days I managed to build such a lab in Microsoft Azure. I used a MSDN subscription where you get a monthly credit of 115 EUR, if I’m not wrong. I think it may be helpful to briefly share how I build this lab.  Continue reading

Fixes in Azure AD Sync Build 1.0.491.0413

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Dan Patrascu-Baba

Partner Technical Consultant at Amdaris
,Net Developer.Focusing on both the .Net world and Microsoft Azure. Experienced speaker and trainer.

Latest posts by Dan Patrascu-Baba (see all)

Few days back Microsoft released Azure AD Sync Build 1.0.491.0413, fixing some important issues that were present in the previous build. This is a pretty important update I would say, since in the past month I had several partners where we struggled with some Azure AD Sync issues that were resolved by installing the new build.  Continue reading