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.