Sign on Experience with Office 365

Posted on 4/29/2012 @ 4:14 PM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 1980 views

Office 365 offers two types of identities:

· Microsoft Online Services cloud IDs (Cloud Identity): This is the default identity Microsoft provides you, requires no additional setup, you sign up for Office 365 and you are provided a credential. You can sign in using forms based authentication, the password policy etc. for which is stored in the cloud with the Office 365 service. The advantage obviously is no additional setup headache. The disadvantage? Yet another password to remember, and no hope of authenticated single sign on integration using this cloud identity with other services at least in the current version.

· Federated IDs (Federated Identity): In companies with on-premises Active Directory, users can sign into Office 365 services using their Active Directory credentials. The corporate Active Directory authenticates the users, and stores and controls the password policy. The advantage here is plenty of single sign on possibilities and better user experience. The downside, more work for you! Well at least initially.

Why this matter is because it greatly affects the user experience even with OOTB Microsoft apps (such as MS office). Here is a table summarizing the sign on experience you get with Office 365.

 

Cloud Identity

Federated Identity

Microsoft Outlook 2010 on Windows 7

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Sign in with corporate credentials, and don’t need to sign in again unless credentials change.

Outlook 2007 on Windows 7

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

No prompt for password if your computer is part of the domain. For operating systems before Windows 7, you will be asked for password at each session.

Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2007 on
Windows Vista or Windows XP

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Exchange ActiveSync

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

POP, IMAP, Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Web Experiences: Office 365 Portal / Outlook Web App / SharePoint Online / Office Web Apps

Sign in each browser session

No prompt for password if your computer is part of the domain.

Office 2010 or Office 2007 using SharePoint Online

Ability to check “keep me signed in”

Sign in each SharePoint Online Session

Lync Online

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

No prompt

Outlook for Mac 2011

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

Sign in each session, possibility to save password for future use.

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