Microsoft Entra External ID​ public preview: Developer-centric platform

Microsoft Entra External ID​ public preview: Developer-centric platform

Last year we introduced our expanded vision for identity and secure access and unveiled Microsoft Entra - our new product family for all identity and access products, that included Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), part of the Microsoft Entra family, Microsoft Entra Permissions Management, and Microsoft Entra Verified ID. 


Today, we’re excited to announce new developer-centric capabilities for customer and partner identity experiences in our next generation customer identity and access management (CIAM) solution - Microsoft Entra External ID, and a next milestone in making our Microsoft Entra Verified ID solution easy to integrate into any application with Microsoft Entra Verified ID SDK 


Introducing Microsoft Entra External ID in public preview


Microsoft Entra External ID is our next generation customer identity and access management platform that represents an evolutionary step in unifying secure and engaging experiences across all external identities including customers, partners, citizens, and others within a single, integrated platform. It includes all familiar features of Azure AD External Identities plus new capabilities, now in public preview, including developer-centric tools to build secure, compliant web and mobile applications for your customers, citizens, and partners – within minutes.  


If you’re attending Microsoft Build this week, you can learn more about today’s launch and try out the preview. If you’re reading this remotely, you can also watch our sessions online. 


So, what does this next chapter in our identity solution for customers and partners bring? You’ve asked us to evolve currently siloed Azure AD B2C solution towards a developer-friendly platform that is unified with the latest security and governance capabilities of Azure AD and is deeply integrated with the Microsoft Entra portfolio of solutions – all backed by our promise of reliability, scale, and built-in fraud management.  


Today’s preview responds to this feedback – Microsoft Entra External ID is delivering easy developer tools to harness our powerful user identity data plane in minutes. Our most popular B2C features and scenarios are now integrated into Azure AD, so you can now consistently leverage our powerful app development libraries (Microsoft Authentication Library or MSAL), flexible customization capabilities for end user experience and journeys, easy authorization with role-based access control (RBAC), and rich administration portals for any B2B or B2C application.  


To deliver on our commitment to put developers front and center, we’re also releasing a new Developer Center packed with quick start guides, code samples, tutorials, and how-to videos to quickly master features and easily prototype identity-enabled applications. Using the new quick start wizard, you can now add beautifully branded sign-up and sign-in experiences to your app in minutes. Also in public preview, the user journey-time orchestration allows you to integrate external data sources and custom business logic with ease when onboarding or authenticating users. Learn more about our vision to continue delighting developers and how to get started easily on this new platform, in our announcement blog  






New customer use cases in Microsoft Entra External ID complement developer-centric improvements we’ve already delivered to business collaboration features in Microsoft Entra such as custom branding, token enrichment, and features that improve collaborator experience such as cross-tenant access. Capabilities like built-in fraud management, user groups, app roles, custom attributes, and policies are all in preview for customer scenarios today. We’ll continue to unify capabilities between partner and customer scenarios in Microsoft Entra so you can freely choose the right tenant configuration based on purpose and scale.  






We’re also integrating industry-leading Microsoft Entra Verified ID capabilities into Microsoft Entra External ID natively, and soon you’ll be able to include them in your user journeys. Verified ID will transform your customer and partner experiences with its open-standards-based built-in ID verification, to enable quick, self-service onboarding experiences that can reduce fraud and account takeover risk and minimize help desk costs - removing the user friction associated with ID proofing or know-your-customer scenarios. It's just one more reason to secure your critical customer-facing applications and strengthen your digital relationships with Microsoft Entra External ID.  


The customer-centric scenarios in Microsoft Entra External ID, entering public preview today, will see rapid innovation with new features in the months to come. Getting started with these new capabilities is easy (no credit card needed): 

  • Choose the option to create a new tenant in Azure AD. 
  • Choose the “Customer” configuration. 
  • We’ll pre-configure the tenant with security and scale presets appropriate for customer identity and access management needs.  


While today’s preview is the first step towards our future vision for external identities, customers can continue to rely on Azure AD B2C with confidence. To learn more, visit Azure AD B2C Frequently Asked Questions. 


Microsoft Entra Verified ID digital wallet SDK is generally available 


Microsoft Entra Verified ID is an open standards-based verifiable credentials service that customers can use to automate verification of identity, such as, government-issued identity documents, face matching, and electronic data verification, in a secure, privacy-respecting manner. You can integrate the upcoming release of the Verified ID Wallet Library (iOS, Android) into your mobile apps to store and share digital Verified ID cards. This allows you to issue verifiable credentials for dozens of use cases, such as reducing the risk for fraud and account takeovers, streamlining app sign ins, creating self-service account recovery and helpdesk flows, and enabling rich partner rewards ecosystems. 


We love hearing feedback on how you’re using Microsoft Entra External ID and Microsoft Entra Verified ID SDK or how we could our developer-centric experiences better going forward. Please share your feedback through Microsoft Entra External ID Support or by tagging @AzureAD on Twitter!  



Levent, Ankur, and Avni 

Twitter: @_LeventB, @_ankurpatel, @avniatmicrosoft 



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