Portal Kombat

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As Microsoft has integrated previously independent products evolved into a massive cloud service provider, disparate access methods and portals developed by individual product teams has lead to a an overwhelming number of different ways of accessing your MS cloud services. Examples include Office365, Azure AD, Dynamics, OMS, Intune and of course Azure.

While I applaud Microsoft’s movement to simplified, streamlined and unified portals where they make sense, it has been a bumpy ride. Up until earlier this year both Azure and Intune had two portals for a period. If that’s not confusing enough, not all functions are/were available in both portals. Some features are/were only available in the classic portal while others are/were only available in the modern portal.

To make it even more difficult for administrators, because of the Silverlight dependency, the classic portal does not support all modern browsers.

Here’s an article that outlines the browser support for each portal.

Let’s focus on Intune for now. Until the Windows 7 End of Life in January 2020 Microsoft will need to continue to support the classic Silverlight based portal to continue to provide support for Windows 7 devices that rely on agent based management. As organization move away from Windows 7 no agent required as OMA-DM is baked into Windows 10 the Azure service based version of the Intune portal can be used exclusively.

Figure 1- Classic Silverlight based Intune Portal

Figure 2- Azure “Ibiza” Portal

License Management

It’s hard to believe that something as simple (and revenue generating for Microsoft) like license assignment can be confusing. Intune has additional confusion beyond the two Intune specific portals in that license management can be done from either the Azure AD blade or from within Office365.

Of course, you can also assign the licenses using PowerShell from a computer with the Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell installed. I like this option as it can be integrated into a more complete automated user provisioning process. For example, you could create a PowerShell script that does the following:

  1. Create a user in AD (or Azure AD)
  2. Add the user to appropriate groups
  3. Assign an Office 365 license
  4. Turn on MFA
  5. Create a mailbox
  6. Assign an Intune Licence

 

 

 

 

 

In this short video I’ll show you three ways to assign Intune (or EMS) licenses to users:

  1. Office365 Portal
  2. Azure Portal
  3. PowerShell
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