Develop line-of-business apps for Azure Active Directory

This guide provides an overview of developing line-of-business (LoB) applications for Azure Active Directory (AD).The intended audience is Active Directory/Office 365 global administrators.

Overview

Building applications integrated with Azure AD gives users in your organization single sign-on with Office 365. Having the application in Azure AD gives you control over the authentication policy for the application. To learn more about conditional access and how to protect apps with multi-factor authentication (MFA) see Configuring access rules.

Register your application to use Azure Active Directory. Registering the application means that your developers can use Azure AD to authenticate users and request access to user resources such as email, calendar, and documents.

Any member of your directory (not guests) can register an application, otherwise known as creating an application object.

Registering an application allows any user to do the following:

  • Get an identity for their application that Azure AD recognizes
  • Get one or more secrets/keys that the application can use to authenticate itself to AD
  • Brand the application in the Azure portal with a custom name, logo, etc.
  • Apply Azure AD authorization features to their app, including:

    • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
    • Azure Active Directory as oAuth authorization server (secure an API exposed by the application)
  • Declare required permissions necessary for the application to function as expected, including:

    - App permissions (global administrators only). For example: Role membership in another Azure AD application or role membership relative to an Azure Resource, Resource Group, or Subscription
    - Delegated permissions (any user). For example: Azure AD, Sign-in, and Read Profile
    

Note

By default, any member can register an application. To learn how to restrict permissions for registering applications to specific members, see How applications are added to Azure AD.

Here’s what you, the global administrator, need to do to help developers make their application ready for production:

  • Configure access rules (access policy/MFA)
  • Configure the app to require user assignment and assign users
  • Suppress the default user consent experience

Configure access rules

Configure per-application access rules to your SaaS apps. For example, you can require MFA or only allow access to users on trusted networks. The details for this are available in the document Configuring access rules.

Configure the app to require user assignment and assign users

By default, users can access applications without being assigned. However, if the application exposes roles or if you want the application to appear on a user’s access panel, you should require user assignment.

Requiring user assignment

If you’re an Azure AD Premium or Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) subscriber, we strongly recommend using groups. Assigning groups to the application allows you to delegate ongoing access management to the owner of the group. You can create the group or ask the responsible party in your organization to create the group using your group management facility.

Assigning users to an application
Assigning groups to an application

By default, each user goes through a consent experience to sign in. The consent experience, asking users to grant permissions to an application, can be disconcerting for users who are unfamiliar with making such decisions.

For applications that you trust, you can simplify the user experience by consenting to the application on behalf of your organization.

For more information about user consent and the consent experience in Azure, see Integrating Applications with Azure Active Directory.