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Microsoft Entra ID: The New Name for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Azure AD to Entra ID Transition Overview 

Azure Active Directory, or Azure AD, has been rebranded as Entra ID. This change reflects the evolution and growth of the Entra product family name, which Microsoft introduced in Spring 2022. Entra continues to evolve and exists to provide secure and efficient identity and access management solutions.  

As the world of identity and access management continues to evolve, Entra ID is here to provide businesses with a secure and reliable platform to help manage their digital identities. With its powerful features and tools, Entra ID is the perfect solution for organizations looking to protect their data while maintaining efficient access control. 

What Is Entra ID? 

Entra ID offers a comprehensive set of features and tools businesses can use to manage user identities, control access to resources, and ensure strong security measures are in place. Organizations leverage Entra ID for common use cases such as streamlining authentication processes, enhancing user productivity, and protecting sensitive data. 

Entra ID makes it easy for businesses to maintain secure access to their resources and applications. Users can quickly and securely log in using their Entra ID credentials, and gain access immediately to the resources needed. The solution also offers advanced features such as MFA (multi-factor authentication), conditional access that sets parameters to how a user logs in, hybrid identities from an on-premises Windows AD environment, identity protection policies, and powerful identity protection and governance tools. 

Entra ID Benefits  

Entra ID offers enhanced security measures to protect your company’s data and resources. It provides MFA and streamlines user management with native Azure authentication technology. This saves time and effort for IT administrators, increasing overall efficiency. Additionally, Entra ID offers seamless integration with other Azure services, allowing for further operational efficiency and scalability.  

Entra ID provides flexible authentication options for a wide range of organizational needs. Use Business-to-business (B2B) to provide guest user management, allowing secure partner access across Entra ID tenants. Business-to-customer (B2C) provides a managed directory service for application access.  B2C is a great alternative to building custom application identity management solutions. 

Entra ID FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions


Why is Microsoft renaming Azure AD to Entra ID? 

The name change to Entra ID is an evolution of the Microsoft Entra product family.  It distinguishes the Microsoft identity solution from other Azure products.   

What are the main differences between Azure AD and Entra ID? 

The name change from Azure AD to Entra ID is just that – a change in names! There are no changes to pricing, licensing, or the technology underpinning the Entra ID service.  

Does Entra ID provide any unique functionalities that Azure AD doesn’t offer? 


What does the Azure AD / Entra ID rebranding mean for IT admins?  

There are no substantial changes (ex. Pricing, licensing, underlying technology) in this rebrand that affect IT admins or their daily operations. Entra ID streamlines user management with native Azure authentication technology, saving time and effort for IT administrators, increasing overall efficiency.  

How does Azure AD/ Entra ID ensure security and identity management?  

Azure AD, now Entra ID, provides a robust set of services for identity management. The functionality has not changed, only the name. Like Azure AD, Entra ID has three service plans available that offer a different set of features to meet customers’ diverse needs.  The names of these service plans have changed as outlined below. 

How do the pricing and subscription models of Azure AD and Entra ID compare? 

They are the same. For more information, please visit Microsoft’s linked documentation. 

What level of technical expertise is required to implement and manage Azure AD / Entra ID? 

Entra ID is required for any Microsoft 365 service and is implemented automatically when a user signs up for one of those services. The Entra ID Free plan has several security best practices built in and requires minimal administrative overhead. However, Entra ID is the identity and access platform for all Microsoft 365 and Azure products.  Knowledge of the product features and best practices is important for admins securing and managing an Entra ID environment.   

Are there any limitations or compatibility issues when integrating Azure AD or Entra ID with other platforms? 

Entra ID leverages a modern and standardized set of authentication protocols including SAML 2.0, OpenID Connect, OAuth 2.0, and WS-Federation. Because Entra ID is built with standard protocols, it is used across many different cloud and application platforms. 

How do Azure AD / Entra ID handle multi-factor authentication (MFA) and access controls? 

All Entra ID service plans come with MFA support built in. Entra ID Free enables security defaults on any new tenant. Security defaults include a set of non-configurable security best practices including MFA.   

The Entra ID P1 and P2 plans provide additional features for organizations that need more control over how users access resources. Conditional access policies provide fine-grain control over user authentication, defining how, when, and where users log in for example. Privileged Identity Management (PIM) sets boundaries for users who need elevated access for administrative purposes. These features and more are available with an Entra ID P1 or P2 license. 

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