Microsoft has officially started the renaming of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to “Microsoft Entra ID”. The change, announced in July, is currently being rolled out across various Microsoft products and services. By mid-November of this year, the majority of textual updates reflecting this change are expected to be completed. However, updates for on-premises software will be finalized in 2024. Starting October 1, 2023, organizations will observe product name changes to “Microsoft Entra ID Free”, “Microsoft Entra ID P1”, and “Microsoft Entra ID P2”. Microsoft has emphasized that this is merely a name change, with no alterations to the product's capabilities, licensing, terms of service, or support.
Rationale Behind the Name Change
The decision to transition from Azure AD to Microsoft Entra ID stems from the evolving landscape of identity and access management. The new name, “Microsoft Entra ID”, is believed to more accurately depict the product's multicloud and multiplatform functionalities. It also aims to alleviate any confusion with the on-premises identity solution, Active Directory. A notable example of this clarity is the renaming of Azure AD Conditional Access to “Microsoft Entra Conditional Access”. This feature now aligns with the broader Microsoft Entra identity and network access portfolio, emphasizing a unified approach to identity and network access.
Implications for Developers and Admins
For developers, all existing login URLs, APIs, PowerShell cmdlets, and Microsoft Authentication Libraries (MSAL) will remain unchanged. Microsoft has also clarified that the Azure AD PowerShell cmdlets will not be renamed. However, the Azure AD PowerShell module is set for deprecation on March 30, 2024. Microsoft recommends developers to transition to the Microsoft Graph PowerShell module for administering identity tasks in the future. Admins can continue to use the Azure portal to manage Microsoft Entra ID, with minimal navigation changes. The Azure portal will also retain messages indicating that Microsoft Entra ID was formerly known as Azure AD for an extended period.
Feedback and Community Engagement
Microsoft has expressed gratitude for the feedback received from customers and partners throughout this transition. They have also provided resources to assist organizations in updating their documentation or content to reflect the Microsoft Entra naming. Microsoft remains committed to its customers, serving over 720,000 organizations globally. They continue to introduce new functionalities and feature improvements to ensure security, effectiveness, and resilience.