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Identity and Provisioning


Applies to: Office 365 Dedicated Plans

Topic Last Modified: 2014-01-03

The identity and provisioning technologies that are implemented with Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises dedicated subscription plans play a critical role in enabling and regulating your organization's access to Microsoft cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. The technologies focus primarily on the following key service areas:

  • Authentication services. Active Directory authentication services using Integrated Windows® authentication enables users to access Office 365 resources via a single sign-on experience. With single sign-on, users can sign in once to receive access to resources such as their Exchange Online mailbox, SharePoint Online sites, or Lync Online profile. Optional Active Directory authentication services include rights management services to protect email and documents in Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, and federated authentication services to enable partners to access your SharePoint sites and applications. Office 365 also offers optional two-factor authentication layers for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online services.

  • Directory synchronization and provisioning services. For user accounts that reside within the Office 365 environment, synchronization and provisioning services ensure that user accounts are properly provisioned for the Office 365 resources for which they have a subscription to use. These provisioned user accounts are enabled for email but are disabled for logon. Two examples of provisioned resources are an Exchange Online mailbox and a Lync Online profile.

This service description presents the authentication, directory synchronization, and provisioning components that Microsoft provides to your organization under Office 365 Dedicated subscription plans (“dedicated plans”) and Office 365 ITAR-support subscription plans.

Services provided under Office 365 Dedicated plans and ITAR-support plans are delivered from a Microsoft cloud environment where your organization has its own dedicated data center hardware.

The information applies to the following Office 365 services:

  • Exchange Online

  • SharePoint Online

  • Lync Online

The intended audience for this information is IT professional-level staff with a strong understanding of the Active Directory service, including Active Directory forest and domain trust models and authentication.

The most recent service description updates for the identity and provisioning services of Office 365 Dedicated plans includes the following clarifications, changes, and improvements:

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