SOLVED

Azure AD group-based license management for Office 365 and more

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Trusted Contributor

This looks awesome - simplify licence management for Office 365, EMS, Dynamics 365 and more with the new group-based licensing preview in Azure AD:

 

Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Dynamics CRM, and other similar products require licenses to be assigned to each user who needs access to these services. Until now, licenses could only be assigned at individual user level, which can male large-scale management difficult for our customers.

 

all-products-assign.png

 

We have introduced a new capability of the Azure AD license management system: group-based licensing. It is now possible to assign one or more product licenses to a group. Azure AD will make sure that the licenses are assigned to all members of the group. Any new members joining the group will be assigned the appropriate licenses and when they leave the group those licenses will be removed. This eliminates the need for automating license management via PowerShell to reflect changes in the organization and departmental structure on a per-user basis.

 

select-a-group2.png

 

Here is the documentation with the steps to get started - What is group-based licensing in Azure Active Directory?

38 Replies
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This is a great announcement @Nasos Kladakis and the team have worked really hard to get out there! Great to see your enthusiasm on it @Cian Allner, we`re looking forward to hear what you and other customers think about it.

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We are so glad that you think this is awesome ! (We agree)

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Fantastic piece of work . Has saved us hours/ days of effort.

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So this is super exciting, tested it out, works amazingly.

Two questions:

(1) Even though it is considered "public preview", any reason that we should not consider taking advantage of this immediately?

(2) What is the best way to bulk remove "direct" licenses from users? Just use PowerShell, or is there something new in the UI I have overlooked.

 

Scratch question 2, @Adam Fowler's link covers it perfectly!

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Brent

Public preview means a number of things. But most of all means no SLA.

I really want to tell you to go and use it because it seems to work perfectly :) However this is what public preview is all about:

Test the feature, get feedback from as many users as possible and then call it Generally available.

 

Nasos

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This went down very well at a SharePoint Saturday demo I did in Munich last week. People are clamouring for this and it might stop people using Okta and similar third parties!

 

If anyone wants to see it in action, I put together a short video showing it in use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih0XN0eRWwA

 

 

This video demonstrates the newly released into preview Azure AD Group based licensing for Office 365 and related technologies. It demonstrates what Azure AD...
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Greetings all,

My question is specifically in regards to end user licensing in the Education Sector, which is needed to use Azure AD Group Based Licensing.

 

Going by Source 1, all users who inherit a license via the group based licensing model will need an Azure AD Basic license (not Azure AD Free).

Going by Source 2, this will change once the functionality reaches GA.

Once this happens, "it will be included in Office 365 Enterprise E3 and similar products."

 

As Education licensing differs from the standard Enterprise E3, will this functionality be included at no cost for Student and Alumni licensing?

 

As you can imagine, a large University will have hundreds of thousands of Alumni and tens of thousands of Students. Having Education E3 include the Azure AD Basic licensing / eligibility for Azure AD Group based licensing for $0 will help for Staff, but if Azure AD Basic licensing is not included for Alumni and Students, the Education sector will not be able to afford to use this awesome functionality.


Can someone please provide clarity, and preferably a link to a valid Microsoft site, on how Azure AD Group Based Licensing and Azure AD Basic will apply to Staff, Students and Alumni.

 

Source 1 -

Source 2 -

  • Linkhttps://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2017/02/22/announcing-the-public-preview-of-a...
  • It contains the following statement:

    "While group-based license management is in public preview you will need an active subscription for Azure AD Basic (or above) in your tenant to assign licenses to groups. If you don’t have one, just sign up for an Enterprise Mobility + Security trial. Later, when this functionality becomes generally available it will be included in Office 365 Enterprise E3 and similar products."

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As it relates to Education, I know that we just purchased an EES agreement, and in so doing we were able to add the SKU 965-00002 for Azure Basic (AADB) for $0 to get this...but this does require an active EES agreement to add AADB for free. I just got this and it hasn't been applied to my portal yet, but I've been assured by Microsoft that is all you need to switch from user-based processing using Azure powershell scripts to using groups in Azure.
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@Nasos Kladakis Should help explain what the intentions are around availbility of Group Based License management with regards to version of Azure AD.

 

Brjann Brekkan

- Azure AD Program Manager

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As a follow-up since I was able to test this last night, Azure Basic ($0 if you have an EES, even though I don't have E3, just the regular faculty/student O365) does allow you to use Groups to assign Azure rights for applications. However, Azure Basic does not let you use dynamic groups. For example, I have a dynamic email group called "All Staff", but that group is not available to Azure when assigning application rights, because you need an Azure Premium, not Basic, license for dynamic groups. That means that I had to create a new "AllStaffAzure" group in O365 portal (I chose to hide that group since I'm only using it for assigning Azure rights) and I used Powershell to assign all staff accounts into that group, then I could set the Application in Azure (like Google Apps, EasyBib, etc.) to use that "AllStaffAzure" group, instead of having to assign each person individually. So it's still not as dynamic as I'd like, but it's easier for me to use Powershell to script users into an O365/Exchange group than Azure.
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That makes sense as Dynamic groups is specifically an Azure AD Premium offering.

 

At the moment I'm tending towards recommending my clients create specific groups for licensing seperate from access and security groups unless they have very simple "give everyone an E3" requirements.  This allows them to then create seperate license blocks for more enhanced uses if required.

 

E.g.

 

Office 365 Base E3 License group - Gives the 'Standard' offering to staff (could be used for basic O365 access too)

Office 365 Exchange Plan 1 - Gives the basic e-mail functionality

Office 365 Exchange Plan 2 - Gives the enhanced e-mail functionality.

 

etc..

 

I'm interested in other peoples approaches?

 

Paul.

 

 

 

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Solution

Group-based licensing will be a feature of all the paid Azure AD editions. (And it is included now during the public preview period)

That means Azure AD Basic, Azure AD Premium P1 and P2 and of course EMS E3 and E5 that includes Azure AD Premium.

Also will be a feature of Office 365 E3 and Office 365 E5 when it becomes generally avaialble.

 

Now, for EDU organizations things are rather simple becasue Azure AD Basic is free for them so by adding the free Azure AD Basic edition to their tenant they can use Group-Based Licensing for all the related products.

 

I hope this helps

 

Nasos

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Thanks for your reply Nasos (and others). Your time and effort is appreciated.

Nasos, are you confirming that EDU get Azure AD Basic included?

Can you confirm that it is included for Alumni and Students as well.

 

For instance -

Exchange Online (Plan 1) for alumni only includes Exchange Online Plan 1 - Nothing else.

 

It would be awesome if this is included.

Can you please provide a link to an MS article advising that.

 

Thanks once again for the great support.


Terry

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So does this mean all O365 Business related Plans (I am using Business Essentials and Business Premium) will qualify for the use of group based licensing?

 

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Chris as I said it is for Office 365 E3 and E5 only. Of course you can purchase any Azure AD paid offering (Basic, Premium P1 or P2) and you add it in your tenant and then group-based linceinsing feature will be available for any Microsoft online service you have.

 


@Chris Yue wrote:

So does this mean all O365 Business related Plans (I am using Business Essentials and Business Premium) will qualify for the use of group based licensing?

 


 

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Hi Nasos,

 

I did see mention of E3 and E5.

 

Must admit, I assumed my O365 Plans included Azure Basic already but it sounds like it is just the Free version.

 

Thanks for the clarification.

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@Terry Munro wrote:

Thanks for your reply Nasos (and others). Your time and effort is appreciated.

Nasos, are you confirming that EDU get Azure AD Basic included?

Can you confirm that it is included for Alumni and Students as well.

 

For instance -

Exchange Online (Plan 1) for alumni only includes Exchange Online Plan 1 - Nothing else.

 

It would be awesome if this is included.

Can you please provide a link to an MS article advising that.

 

Thanks once again for the great support.


Terry


Terry, if you're K-12 or EDU like me, then the free E1 or E2 plans for faculty/students/alumni only include AAD (Azure AD), not AADB (Azure AD Basic). AADB is also free...but it can only be applied to your domain IF you also have a paid EES subscription. I don't have any articles on that, but I worked with various MS reps for the last 6 months trying to get AADB without an EES and it was simply not possible. I wanted AADB for the ability to use groups when assigning rights.