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Azure AD External Identities for B2C scenarios: Overview

Azure AD External Identities, a part of Microsoft Entra is a feature that provides a secure and efficient digital experience for identities outside an organization with customization controls.To break it down, partners, customers, suppliers, etc. can be securely authorized and authenticated. With Azure AD, external identities and user directories can be unified in one portal to manage access across the organization efficiently. Apps can be securely accessed from anywhere with a single sign-on, thus avoiding having to remember credentials and the risk of losing them. Here are more features that make Azure AD External Identities uniquely efficient and seamless.

  • Protect and govern access: Manage external identities by protecting credentials in order to enforce security and governance.
  • Simplify access to SaaS apps: The single sign-on feature makes access quite a piece of cake thus enabling you to easily access numerous SaaS applications.
  • Engage with identities: One IAM solution can help you engage with partners and customers outside your organisation and customize their needs.
  • Integrate identity workflow: Automate maintenance of user accounts from creating them to removing them, thus reducing the work to put into the same.

Azure AD external identities for B2C scenarios

External identities play a pivotal role in elevating B2C applications by managing user access in a secure and user-friendly manner. It works with Azure AD B2C to provide the B2C identity as a service. Azure AD B2C works as a Customer Identity and Access Management function designed to streamline user journeys for consumer-facing applications. It is used by IT administrators and developers primarily for authorization and authentication. It takes care of user-account functionalities like sign-up, sign-in, passwords,etc. Azure AD B2C, A white label authentication solution effortlessly customises user experience and information so it blends in with your application. Here are some features that make Azure AD B2C the indispensable tool that it is.

  • Security: One of the main goals of Microsoft Entra is to provide secure access and control for users, hence Azure AD B2C provides the same with features like single sign-on and multi-factor authentication.
  • Identity experience: Azure AD B2C uses user flow and custom policies to provide a hassle-free and secure identity experience to users as they gain access to your application for their requirements.User flows are built-in and predefined policies that allow users to sign up and sign in to their accounts in little to no time. Whereas, custom policies enable you to create user journeys for various identity experience scenarios.
  • Customisable user interface: Here, you get full control of the content displayed to your users by being able to control the HTML and CSS part of the content. This allows you to craft the visual aspects of your application as well.
  • Custom domain: You can also have your webpages remain in your domain in the user’s perspective by having the custom domain feature, enabling you to customise the Azure AD B2C domain. With this, your pages can blend in easily with your application’s domain name.
  • Localization: Azure AD B2C enables you to accommodate different languages to your suit, hence making your user’s identity experience even more seamless. Microsoft provides 36 languages, but you can accommodate more if needed.

Azure AD B2C for custom branding and integration

Customisation and integration are two of the various significant features in Azure AD B2C, without which user identity experience would not be as consistent as it is.

Azure AD B2C lets you customize and brand the user interface displayed to your customers, thus creating a cohesive experience for your users. Here, you mainly use templates and company branding to modify your user interfaces. Azure AD provides multiple built-in templates you can choose from so that you can build a smooth visual-niche for your user experience page. Some of the popular ones are Ocean blue, Slate grey, and classic to name a few.

You can also modify your UI provided by Azure AD B2C with HTML templates. Your page can contain any HTML elements, including JavaScript, CSS, etc. With this feature, you can get crafty and creative with your user experience according to your user’s requirements and your brand’s niche too. Creating your own page can be a tad bit tedious, and to avoid the same, you can use Azure AD B2C’s default page content and customize the same as you like to build your UI/UX. Again, in here you have numerous templates and options to choose from.

Apart from customization, being able to integrate your application with external users improves the overall identity experience for your users, hence also improving yours too. With this feature, Azure AD B2C lets you divide work with external users. For example, you can have Azure AD handle your application’s authentication and the external system handle the storing of profiles and user data. Azure AD B2C facilitates collecting user information while creating a profile and hands the same to an external system using an API. This helps with handling data storage while maintaining the ability to access information when needed.

To conclude, Azure AD B2C and Azure AD External Identities are two significant features of Microsoft Entra focused on providing a cohesive user identity experience while maintaining security and governance. With integration and customisation options, you can make the experience an even more seamless and effortless one.

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