Collaborating across Office 365 tenants utilising Azure B2B

Late last year Microsoft announced the release of the Azure B2B Collaboration capability. Azure B2B allows you to ease the management process of allowing users from different organisations to share data and collaborate with each other within applications that utilise Azure AD for authentication.

Although we refer to users from different organisations, they may in fact be users that are part of the same organisation but reside within different Office 365 tenants. A good example of this is when mergers occur between organisations, or a large organisation operates under a number of different brands or divisions.

The way this challenge has typically been overcome is to utilise federation methods used with AD on-premises or creating external user accounts within your on-premises AD for clients bears a number of overheads and additional challenges and constraints when utilising cloud based applications such as Office 365 that leverage Azure AD for authentication.

Azure B2B handles this quite simply, by allowing you to “invite” external users to the Azure AD that is used to authenticate against a particular application, be it Office 365 or another Azure AD based application, such as Unily (BrightStarr’s digital workplace solution). These invited users then continue to utilise their single Azure AD account for authentication (assuming they already have one), so they don’t have to remember multiple account names and passwords. If they don’t have an existing Azure AD account, the user will be prompted to create a new external account. Either way, the account gets added to the Azure AD tenant into which they have been invited.

The rest of this article walks through the process of inviting and adding external users to an Azure AD application. In fact, we utilise Unily as a real world example to demonstrate how an Azure AD based application that integrates with SharePoint Online within Office 365 can take advantage of Azure B2B to allow multiple users who belong to different organisations with separate Office 365 tenants can collaborate with each other.

To read the complete article, please visit the BrightStarr website.

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Sam Hassani Principal Consultant

‘Sensible’ Sam is an asset to the consulting team. Having jumped the fence from Microsoft a few years back, he now consults and designs large scale SharePoint, O365 and Azure solutions for BrightStarr. His conscientious approach got him his nickname, and although he’s not afraid to take risks, he’s always a safe bet. Delivering stable, well thought out solutions time and time again.

In his previous job, he specialized in SharePoint, working in the field and with the product team, Sam is genuinely excited by his vocation and speaks at conferences and events with enthusiasm. Just don’t get him started on hybrid search! At the weekend Sam likes to ride his road bike and hang out with his young son.

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