Benefits of Microsoft's Azure Active Directory (AD)
AD is a fully managed multi-tenant service from Microsoft that offers identity and access capabilities for applications running Microsoft Azure and for applications running an on-premises environment. Azure AD is not a replacement for Windows Server Active Directory; however, for local governments already utilizing an on-premises directory, Windows Service Active Directory can be extended to the cloud using the directory integration capabilities of Azure AD. Under this configuration, users and groups in the on-premises directory are synchronized to Azure AD, which means users are authenticated against Windows Server Active Directory when accessing on-premises applications and resources and they are authenticated against Azure AD when accessing cloud applications—all using the same set of credentials. Azure AD can also serve as an entity’s sole directory service in cases where it does not have an on-premise Windows Service Activity Directory, and it elects to manage user identity and access software as a service (SaaS) applications online.