Windows Azure Active Directory Graph Service – Ready for Production

It’s a big day for us. The AAD Graph service is now Generally Available along with other Azure Active Directory Services. I am pretty sure all of you can relate to the feeling we have today – a big push with some crazy last minute issues culminating with what we feel like is a very nice release for our customers. We hope you guys love our services and continue to provide us feedback. The GA is just a milestone in a long journey. We will continue to update our service at a pretty quick cadence and we will keep updating you on our progress through this blog.

As you know, we have released a number of previews for Graph service over the past few months and a number of you have already used the APIs and provided us some great feedback. Please continue to provide the feedback and pain points and we will try to resolve them as soon as possible.

Here’s a quick overview of the changes coming with the GA release for Graph and the associated components in Azure AD. If you are a new customer and want to gain a deeper understanding of the AAD Graph Service, I suggest you to look at our previous posts. The changes for Graph service from the previous version( 0.9 version) to this version are minimal. The changes from 0.8 version to 0.9 version of Graph service were substantial and are covered in this post.

  • Version format change: We have adopted the Date version format that a number of other Azure services use. So the Version for our GA release is “2013-04-05”. Here is how a request looks like with the new version format: .
  • New Application Registration UX: If you have previously built an application using Graph API, we required you to register the application with Windows Azure AD using Powershell for LOB application or Seller Dashboard for Multi-tenant application. For the GA release, we have significantly simplified the Application registration model and you can manage your applications and other Directory objects liker Users in the Azure management portal. If you don’t have a subscription for Windows Azure, you can start you with a Trial subscription here. “Configuring Application Authentication and Authorization for Graph API” section in the “Using the Graph API to Query Windows Azure AD” MSDN article describes the steps to configure applications for integration with Windows Azure AD for both single sign on and using Graph API. The great thing about the new Application Registration UX is that it provides a way to configure applications for both LOB and Multi-tenant applications and there is no need to use Powershell for this anymore
  • Differential Query: We have not talked about this feature a lot in this blog but this is a cool feature that lets you get the changes that happened in the Azure AD tenant through the Graph API from the time you have fetched the changes previously. We will have some detailed posts on this topic in the next couple of days.
  • JSON-Minimal metadata as the default: We support three different formats of JSON with this version - Verbose, minimal metadata and no metadata (which in turn have been introduced by WCF Data Services). In this version of the service, we have made JSON - minimal metadata as the default format. The JSON content is much cleaner than the default we supported previously. If you want to see how the response looks in this format, you can try it in Graph explorer which has been changed to use this format by default.
  • OAuth2 End Point for retrieving token to talk to Graph API: The address for the end point to fetch the token to talk to the Graph API has changed. The new end point is<tenantname>/oauth2/token . The format of the request to the OAuth2 end point has also changed a little. The new helper library shipped with the updated MVC sample to work with GA version has the code to produce the request in a format that the new endpoint expects.

We have also updated our MVC Read Write, PHP and Java samples to work with the GA version of the Graph service. We also have some great documentation, walkthroughs etc. on our MSDN website to help you get started with Azure Active Directory and AAD Graph Service. Let us know if you run into any problems or have any feedback.

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