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Collaborating across Office 365 tenants utilising Azure B2B

23 August 2016   Sam Hassani

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.

Collaborating across Office 365 tenants utilising Azure B2B

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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