Microsoft Azure AD Active Directory collage from official

Microsoft has today made some important announcements regarding Azure AD. The company says it is retiring the Azure AD admin experience in the classic Azure portal. In an announcement, the Azure team says the decision comes based on customer feedback.

Users have been asking for a single portal to manage an organization from. Microsoft delivered that in May, when the Azure AD admin center moved to general availability. Since then, the center has been used by 800,000 users from 500,000 organizations around the world.

Moving into the future with the admin center, Microsoft no longer needs to provide the classic experience in Azure portal. So, from November 30, the service will be retired.

Microsoft says this was an important step in making the admin experience more efficient for customers in Azure AD. With the admin center, customers get the following advantages:

  • Know Your Organization: The new experience begins with our brand-new landing page and dashboard. Here we focus purely on directory functionality and provide access to all Azure Active Directory features.”
  • Understand access:  A key part of our experience is the holistic view of access that we provide, pivoted on a user. From this view you can see the groups that user is a member of, what role they have, what licenses have been assigned, and their Azure resources. New in this GA release is the view of what applications a user has access to, either assigned or consented.”
  • Story of your organization: We now provide audit and sign-in activity as streams of data with rich filtering and search capabilities. You can see the activity for the whole organization, or dive into a single user, group, or application, and then slice and dice the information in whatever way is most useful for you. From this dashboard, you can get an overview of the state of your organization, and easily dive into managing the directory, users, or application access.”

Further Details

However, those who have used both will know some features are only available on the classic Azure portal. Microsoft acknowledges this and explains those capabilities will be brought to the admin center. Indeed, they will be available before the classic experience is retired.

Microsoft is also retiring Azure Information Protection admin experiences in the Azure portal on the same date.

Finally, the company says admin experiences for Access Control Services will move to a new URL from November 30. As yet, the new destination has not been announced.