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Connect Azure AD With Powershell

Isha Ratra ~ Modified: 15-Nov-2017 ~ Cloud ~ 5 Minutes Reading

Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory or commonly known as Azure AD is identity management service and a multi-tenant cloud based directory. In the software industry, Azure AD provides a commendable and easy to use solution to give employee and business partners single sign-on (SSO)that help to access, thousands of cloud SaaS Applications like Office365, DropBox, Salesforce.com, Concur, etc. Running administrative tasks user need to setup up Azure AD with Powershell that help to function smoothly.

In the field of application developers, Azure AD acts as a super boon that lets the developer to focus on creating an application by making the process fast and simple. To integrate with world-class identity management solution that is used by millions of organizations around the world is the easiest task for Azure Active Directory. Not only this Azure AD includes a full suite of identity management capabilities that includes device registration, multi-factor authentication, self-service password management, privileged account management, self-service group management role-based access control, application usage monitoring, security monitoring or alerting and rich auditing. All of these ability helps secure cloud-based applications, cut costs and help assure corporate compliance.

In this segment, we would be covering the method that will help to setup up Azure AD with Powershell that will help the user to run all the admin processes easily. Multiple users need to know “How to add Azure account in Powershell” so we would be covering the points that help to setup Azure Active Directory.

Azure Active Directory PowerShell Module

The user can use the Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell cmdlets so that Azure AD administrative can perform tasks like user management, domain management and for configuring single sign-on.
We would be covering information about how to install these cmdlets, in your Active AD. The need to know how Cmdlets are different from Commands

Following are the points that denotes that Cmdlets differ from commands in other command-shell environments:

  • Cmdlets creates the instances of .NET whereas the class are not stand-alone executables.
  • Cmdlets can be created from as few lines of code.
  • Parsing, error presentation, and output formatting are handled by the Windows PowerShell runtime in case of Cmdlets
  • Cmdlets process input objects from the pipeline rather than from streams of text and cmdlets typically deliver objects as output to the pipeline.
  • They are record-oriented because they process a single object at a time.

Now being familiar with the cmdlets and how to use them will surely help in installing the module, getting updates, and connecting PS to your Azure Active Directory installation.

INSTALLING THE AZURE AD MODULE

The Azure AD Module is supported on the following Windows operating systems with the default version of Microsoft .NET Framework and Windows PowerShell: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2.
There are two versions of the Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell available: a General Availability version and a Public Preview Version. The Public Preview version contains cmdlets that have not yet been released for General Availability.

UPDATING THE AZURE AD MODULE

You can run the get-item cmdlet to check the version of the DLL files of the module that you have currently installed:
(get-item C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\MSOnline\Microsoft.Online
.Administration.Automation.PSModule.dll).VersionInfo.FileVersion

If the version is older than 1.0.8070.2 then, remove the existing version and re-install the module. Use Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel to remove Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell.

CONNECT TO AZURE AD

Before the user can run any of the cmdlets discussed in this article, user must need to connect to Online Service. Running, the cmdlet connect-msolservice at the Windows PowerShell command prompt user can fill in the login details. Or user can use this command in powershell to apply credentials in advance:

$msolcred = get-credential
connect-msolservice -credential $msolcred

The first command prompts for credentials and stores them as $msolcred. The next command uses those credentials as $msolcred to connect to the service. To connect to a specific environment of Azure Active Directory, use the AzureEnvironment parameter, as follows:

Connect-MSOLService – AzureEnvironment “AzureFranceCloud”
Note: This example connects your PowerShell session to the France AzureAD environment.

To create a folder for help, list the cmdlets, and then open the file in notepad, you can run the following commands at the Windows PowerShell command prompt:
new-item c:\MSOLHelp -type directory
get-command | Where-Object {$_.name -like “*msol*”} | format-list | Out-File c:\MSOLHelp\msolcmdlets.txt
notepad c:\MSOLHelp\msolcmdlets.txt

View the examples for a cmdlet, run the following command at the Windows PowerShell command prompt:
get-help -examples
View the name, synopsis, description, parameter descriptions, and any examples provided for a cmdlet, run the following command at the Windows PowerShell command prompt:
get-help -detailed
View the name, synopsis, description, detailed parameters, and any examples provided for a cmdlet, run the following command at the Windows PowerShell command prompt:
get-help -detailed

BENEFITS OF AZURE AD

    1. Quickly adopt cloud services, providing employees and partners with an easy single-sign on experience powered by Azure AD’s fully automated SaaS app access management and provisioning services capabilities.
    2. Empower employees with access to world class cloud apps and service and self-services capabilities from wherever they need to work on the devices they love to use.
    3. Easily and securely manage employee and vendor access to your corporate social media accounts.
    4. Improve application security with Azure AD multifactor authentication and conditional access.
    5. Implement consistent, self-service application access management, empowering business owners to move quickly while cutting IT costs and overhead.
    6. Monitor application usage and protect your business from advanced threats with security reporting and monitoring.
    7. Secure mobile (remote) access to on-premises applications.