I Ain’t Mad At All…
In my previous post I talked about CRM Online moving to the same administration, billing and provisioning platform used by Office 365. One of the many benefits is the ability for administrators to manage user accounts in bulk, rather than having to rely on end-users setting up their own Windows Live IDs.
The Microsoft Online Portal (MOP) at https://portal.microsoftonline.com provides three different ways of managing user accounts:
- Standalone User Accounts – Administrators can create new user accounts, typically using the format <username>@<orgname>.onmicrosoft.com. Administrators can create users, manage which services they have access to, as well as resetting passwords and updating contact information.
- Synchronised User Accounts – Using the Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronisation Tool, user accounts from your in-house Active Directory can be synchronised into MOP. Users will only have to remember a single user id, however in reality there are actually two separate accounts, each with different passwords.
- Synchronised User Accounts + Federated Authentication – Using the synchronisation tool described previously, and deploying Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 inside your in-house network, users can log on with their Active Directory passwords rather than storing separate passwords within MOP.
As you can see, this is a pretty comprehensive set of options. In order to make my life easier for demos, I decided to stick with option 1 and set up a number of standalone user accounts. MOP provides a bulk user creation option as shown below
This starts a wizard which steps you through the process of bulk creating new users. First of all I downloaded the new user template and used it to create a .csv file containing the list of the user accounts I wanted to create.
Once the .csv file is uploaded, you can select which online services you want these user to access. As you can see, this includes CRM Online as well as the various Office 365 services.
Once the wizard has completed, you can log into CRM Online and administer the new users in the usual way.
There you have it. MOP provides an extremely simple and scalable platform for managing users, which is particularly important for customers with more than a handful of CRM users.
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