Microsoft has announced the end-of-service dates for Azure Access Control Services (ACS) and the SharePoint Add-In extensibility model, affecting business and government customers who leverage these services for their online authentication and customization needs. Azure ACS will retire for new tenants from November 1, 2024, marking the beginning of a transition phase leading to a full retirement on April 2, 2026. Similarly, the SharePoint Add-In model will cease to be operational for existing tenants on that same date.
Alternative Authentication Solutions for Azure ACS Users
Azure ACS has been a crucial component for SharePoint Online authentication. Microsoft now suggests its customers migrate to the modern authentication services provided by Microsoft Entra ID, formerly known as Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). These modern authentication mechanisms are designed to provide more secure and comprehensive solutions for user identity and access management, supporting contemporary security and compliance needs.
Developers utilizing custom applications or SharePoint provider-hosted Add-Ins are advised to switch to Microsoft Entra ID for their authorization and authentication requirements. The Microsoft Entra ID framework is part of Microsoft's larger identity and access management offerings, providing advanced security features for applications integrated with Microsoft 365.
Phased Out Schedule for SharePoint Add-Ins
The timeline for SharePoint Add-In also includes key dates preceding the full retirement. Microsoft has disclosed that from March 1, 2024, no new SharePoint Add-Ins will be admitted for listing in the public marketplace. Beginning July 1, 2024, acquiring SharePoint Add-Ins from the public marketplace won't be possible. Despite this change, using a tenant app catalog will remain supported, facilitating third parties to offer their SharePoint Add-Ins until the ultimate retirement date.
Customers who have engaged with custom-developed SharePoint add-ins should start planning their migration towards SharePoint Framework-based solutions. These latest solutions offer enhanced integration with modern web technologies and Microsoft 365 services, providing a more robust and future-proof approach to extending SharePoint's functionality.
For any SharePoint Add-Ins sourced from public marketplaces or third-party vendors, Microsoft underscores the necessity to inquire with these providers for updates that no longer depend on the retiring SharePoint Add-In model. The necessity to upgrade or transition from these services remains imperative as the shut-off date of April 2nd, 2026 approaches, ensuring continuity in service and functionality for users.
These changes are part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to streamline its online services and push customers towards more modern and secure alternatives. Businesses using Azure ACS and SharePoint Add-Ins are encouraged to plan ahead for the transition to avoid disruptions in their workflow.