Microsoft Renames Azure AD to Microsoft Entra ID

July 20, 2023
3 min read

Microsoft announced that they will rename Azure AD (AAD) to Entra ID in their attempt to reflect the progression of modern multicloud identity security, eventually simplify secure access for all Microsoft 365 users, and to provide naming consistency for identity and access solutions.

Some experts in the industry likely wonder why? Why rename Azure AD (AAD) if Microsoft isn’t providing any enhancements, new features, or even deprecating features in Azure AD.

It appears the reason is to integrate the Entra ID product name into the already existing Microsoft Entra product family, which includes:

  • Microsoft Entra ID
  • Microsoft Entra ID Protection
  • Microsoft Entra ID Governance
  • Microsoft Entra External ID
  • Microsoft Entra Internet Access
  • Microsoft Entra Private Access
  • Microsoft Entra Permissions Management
  • Microsoft Entra Verified ID
  • Microsoft Entra Workload ID

You may want to learn more about Entra ID, and the Entra product family by visiting the Microsoft Entra Documentation center.

The good news: if you are currently using AAD, there won’t be any interruption of the service, and your existing deployments, configurations, and integrations will seamlessly function as they are today.

However, the service plan display names that currently include AAD will change on October 1, 2023, as shown in Figure 1.

The four current plans of Azure AD: AAD free, Premium P1, Premium P2, and AAD External Identities, will become Entra ID free, Entra ID P1, Entra ID P2, and Entra External ID, respectively.
Figure 1: Entra ID service plans | Image used with permission from Microsoft. | View Full Size

From a developer’s perspective and Microsoft’s effort to minimize the impact on developers, there won’t be any changes to any of the following AAD-related components:

  • Login URLs
  • APIs
  • PowerShell cmdlets
  • Microsoft Authentication Libraries (MSAL)
  • Developer experiences
  • Developer tools

Furthermore, Microsoft will continue to support the resources you’re currently using to build applications used by customers and users to sign in using their Microsoft identities and social accounts. Also, the following Microsoft-related identity products and services naming have not changed with the Entra branding:

  • Microsoft Authentication Library (MSAL)
  • Microsoft Graph
  • Microsoft Graph PowerShell
  • Windows Server Active Directory
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
  • The “Active Directory” product name
  • Azure Active Directory B2C

The page used to manage the Entra product family is the Microsoft Entra admin center shown in Figure 2.

Screenshot of the Microsoft Entra admin center, with tiles containing links to Entra ID, ID Protection, ID Governance, Verified ID, Workload ID, Permissions Management, Internet Access, Private Access, and the option to try the Entra products for free.
Figure 2: Screenshot of Microsoft Entra admin center  |  Image used with permission from Microsoft.  |   View Full Size

Except for remembering the new name for Azure AD, it shouldn’t be a big learning curve to make the transition to Entra ID. I suggest you begin by exploring the Entra product documentation page, as well as familiarize yourself with how to navigate in the Entra ID admin center to access all the Entra-related products. Doing so it will make the transition to Entra ID from Azure AD pretty easy.

Brian Alderman

Brian Alderman

Brian Alderman is a former Microsoft MVP, and has his Master's in Computer Information Systems. Since 1995, he has held several Microsoft certifications that currently include; MCT, MCSE for SharePoint, MCSA for Office 365, MCITP for SQL Server(R), MCSA and MCSE for Windows Server(R), and also his PMP certification. As a Senior Technical Instructor and Consultant, he has 30 years of experience in networking, SQL Server databases, SharePoint technologies, and project management. Brian's publications include Windows 2000 Professional, SQL Server 2000 Administration, SharePoint 2010 Administrator's Companion, and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Administration Inside Out. He is an active speaker at SharePoint Industry conferences including SharePoint Saturday's, SPLive, DevIntersection, SharePoint Fest, Microsoft Ignite, and several international SharePoint conferences including London, Milan, and Madrid.