Maybe you’ve heard of Microsoft Azure, maybe you haven’t. In today’s article, I’m going to walk you through the process of wiring up your Azure subscription to work with your Office 365 Organization accounts as well as Live ID. To understand what we’re doing here, let’s do a little refresher.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform for hosting various services including, websites, virtual networks and machines, to highly available SQL database services. You’re billed by month which varies by the type of the service (server hardware, drive size, VM size level, etc). You can find out more on the various services and relevant pricing along with a handy calculator on the pricing page. Credits for Microsoft Azure also comes as a benefit to Microsoft competency partners or users with an MSDN subscription. So that explains Azure, but what’s the difference between an organization account and Live ID?
When you login to any Microsoft service (Office 365, Azure, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Outlook.com, OneNote.com, Windows Phone, Sway, etc.), you are using one of two account types:
Not all Microsoft services allow you to login from both, but if so you will typically see a login prompt first just for your email address so Microsoft can determine what type of account your email address belongs to:
After you type your email address, if it finds a match for both types you choose which type you want to login with:
What’s the difference? The difference is which services they are used for which is loosely indicated by the description in the above screenshot. A Microsoft account is for personal / consumer services like OneNote and Office online, OneDrive, etc. It is denoted by the Microsoft 4 color flag icon. Way back when this used to be the account for Hotmail, and was also called Passport which has all evolved now into a Microsoft account.
On the other hand, an Organization account (called Work or school account above) is for business / company focused services. This is typically only Office 365 or Azure. If you are a business user, your company provides you with a user account to login to a computer and access company resources. An organization account is like a Microsoft-hosted business account that is attached to a subscription service your company pays for.
Well in Azure, once you sign up with one of the types of accounts, you will typically want to add other users for access. However, the problem is that Azure by default only lets you add users of the same type as the one you signed up with. So if you signed up with a Microsoft account, you can only add other Microsoft accounts. If you try to add an organization account, you will be disappointed with a no user found :(. If you signed up as an organization account, you can only add other organization accounts but not any Microsoft accounts.
In my scenario for example, I activated my subscription for Azure via my MSDN subscription which uses a Microsoft account (you can’t use an Org account). Now that I’m in, I want to add my main user account I use all day which is an Organization account so I don’t have to manage multiple accounts. This is possible, it just requires a few changes in your Azure subscription.
Now all that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the steps involved in this quick process. What we’re basically doing is adding the existing Azure Active Directory for your company to your MSDN Azure subscription.
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