Who am I really logged in as on Visual Studio Team Services?

Recently, when we were troubleshooting an access issue on our marketplace publisher, we encountered a few strange scenarios.

Scenario 1 - Same name and email, but different identity


As shown below, I am logged on to the marketplace as Willy-Peter Schaub [1], but the publisher web pages look different [2]. In the Edge browser I have full access [3] and in Firefox browser I have none [4]. 


To determine the identify of the authenticated user, navigate your browsers to https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/_apis/connectiondata [1].


As shown in the examples above, you will notice that one is an Active Directory [2] identity and the other a Live [3] identity. Even though both have the same name and associated with the same willys email account, the identity is different. As a result, the authorization and shown data is different [4].

Scenario 2 – What’s my identity?


When you have multiple identities with the same display name, you may often wonder who you were authenticated as.


Append _apis/connectiondata to your account, for example demo-fabrikam.visualstudio.com/_apis/connectiondata, and press Enter.

You will notice that this is the third identity we encounter that’s associated with my name. It’s a Live identity, associated with my willy-peter email account.


Avoid the confusion!


To reduce the confusion, edit your profile and add a suffix to your identity name. This allows you to easily distinguish between your Active Directory, Microsoft Account (Live), and other identities.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. From a clean/new/incognito/private (IMPORTANT) browser session, navigate to https://app.vssps.visualstudio.com
  2. Sign in
  3. From your Profile page, click Edit, update the display name


Now I can easily see that I am logged in with my MSA account:


Reference information:

Comments (1)

  1. Hi Willy,

    thanks for the tip! Having both an MSA and WSA for the same email address can be confusing. I’ve ran into similar issues when using the Azure portal. It seems that the safest way is to avoid having an MSA and WSA with the same email address.


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