What is self-service sign-up for Azure Active Directory?

This article explains how to use self-service sign-up to populate an organization in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). If you want to take over a domain name from an unmanaged Azure AD organization, see Take over an unmanaged directory as administrator.

Why use self-service sign-up?

  • Get customers to services they want faster
  • Create email-based offers for a service
  • Create email-based sign-up flows that quickly allow users to create identities using their easy-to-remember work email aliases
  • A self-service-created Azure AD directory can be turned into a managed directory that can be used for other services

Terms and definitions

  • Self-service sign-up: This is the method by which a user signs up for a cloud service and has an identity automatically created for them in Azure AD based on their email domain.
  • Unmanaged Azure AD directory: This is the directory where that identity is created. An unmanaged directory is a directory that has no global administrator.
  • Email-verified user: This is a type of user account in Azure AD. A user who has an identity created automatically after signing up for a self-service offer is known as an email-verified user. An email-verified user is a regular member of a directory tagged with creationmethod=EmailVerified.

How do I control self-service settings?

Admins have two self-service controls today. They can control whether:

  • Users can join the directory via email
  • Users can license themselves for applications and services

How can I control these capabilities?

An admin can configure these capabilities using the following Azure AD cmdlet Set-MsolCompanySettings parameters:

  • AllowEmailVerifiedUsers controls whether a user can create or join a directory. If you set that parameter to $false, no email-verified user can join the directory.
  • AllowAdHocSubscriptions controls the ability for users to perform self-service sign-up. If you set that parameter to $false, no user can perform self-service sign-up.

AllowEmailVerifiedUsers and AllowAdHocSubscriptions are directory-wide settings that can be applied to a managed or unmanaged directory. Here's an example where:

  • You administer a directory with a verified domain such as contoso.com
  • You use B2B collaboration from a different directory to invite a user that does not already exist (userdoesnotexist@contoso.com) in the home directory of contoso.com
  • The home directory has the AllowEmailVerifiedUsers turned on

If the preceding conditions are true, then a member user is created in the home directory, and a B2B guest user is created in the inviting directory.

For more information on Flow and PowerApps trial sign-ups, see the following articles:

How do the controls work together?

These two parameters can be used in conjunction to define more precise control over self-service sign-up. For example, the following command will allow users to perform self-service sign-up, but only if those users already have an account in Azure AD (in other words, users who would need an email-verified account to be created first cannot perform self-service sign-up):

    Set-MsolCompanySettings -AllowEmailVerifiedUsers $false -AllowAdHocSubscriptions $true

The following flowchart explains the different combinations for these parameters and the resulting conditions for the directory and self-service sign-up.

flowchart of self-service sign-up controls

The details of this setting can be retrieved by the following powershell cmdlet Get-MsolCompanyInformation. For more infromation on this, see Get-MsolCompanyInformation.

    Get-MsolCompanyInformation | Select AllowEmailVerifiedUsers, AllowAdHocSubscriptions

For more information and examples of how to use these parameters, see Set-MsolCompanySettings.

Next steps