Author : MD TAREQ HASSAN | Updated : 2023/01/31

Understanding Azure AD

Azure AD is a multi-tenant, cloud-based directory and identity management service that combines core directory services, application access management, and identity protection. Azure AD can be used as a standalone service or in conjunction with other Azure services to create a complete identity solution.

Microsoft Online business services, such as Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Azure, use Azure AD for sign-in activities. If you’re or your company is using Azure, Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365, you are already using Azure AD! (every Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 tenant is already an Azure AD tenant).

If you are familiar with Windows Server Active Directory, consider Azure AD as cloud version of Active Directory with many added capabilities and features. Azure AD can be connected and synced with on-premises Active Directory to integrate existing users, groups and applications.

Depending on the license type (Free, P1, P2, “Pay as you go”), Azure AD will provide some or all of the following features:



Azure AD Account


Types of tenant:

Azure AD Directory

Application Object

Service Principle

See: Relationship between application objects and service principals

Managed Identity

Custom Domain

Azure Subscription

Azure AD Roles

Azure AD Global Administrator