Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
There are essentially two classes of user accounts:
● Cloud identity
● Federated identity
Cloud identities are user accounts that are created directly in Office 365 through the admin
center. The passwords associated with cloud identities are also stored in Office 365. Cloud
identities can be managed through the admin center as well as through Windows
PowerShell. Windows PowerShell provides you with account management capabilities that might
not be available through the admin center. For example, you can assign user passwords or
remove password expiration dates by using Windows PowerShell, but these options are not
available in the admin center. Windows PowerShell also opens the door for automation and
bulk processing of accounts. We will dive deeper into Windows PowerShell in later chapters
because Windows PowerShell is definitely the tool of choice for administering Office 365 at
the enterprise level.
When a user tries to access an Office 365 service, she will be prompted for a logon name
and a password, as shown in Figure 3-1. The user name and password will be validated
by Office 365 before access to services is granted. For cloud identities, Office 365 is the
authoritative authentication source known as standard authentication.
Federated identities refer to user accounts that are maintained outside of Office 365,
such as in AD. Federated identities are the most commonly used accounts in an
enterprise because most enterprises already have an identity management solution such as AD.
Because Office 365 is built to be enterprise-ready, it will leverage your AD environment. We
discuss other non-AD identity management solutions in later chapters, but for now we will
assume AD as the authoritative identity source.
There are many benefits to leveraging your AD environment. For one, AD is most likely
mature and you have already configured features such as Group Policy Objects (GPOs) that
define password complexity requirements. Furthermore, from a day-to-day management
standpoint, you and your administrators are probably using tools such as the Active
Directory User and Computer (ADUC) management console. In this scenario, if you introduce
cloud identities with Office 365, you would have to maintain a second set of user accounts
in Office 365, thereby doubling your workload.