What you should know

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In terms of what you need to know in order to start this course about managing identities using Azure Active Directory Connect, there isn't a whole lot. Like other courses in this Office 365 administration track, you can take them really in any order you please. Now I recommend that you start with the Provisioning Office tenant course that's at the start of this track but beyond that, it really doesn't matter. Once you set up your Office environment, you'll be able to follow along and if you're paying attention, you'll soak up lots of knowledge about doing administration tasks in Office 365.

Now that said, there are two things that will probably help you get a leg up in terms of understanding this topic which of course is administering Office 365 with an on-premises Active Directory environment and the first thing to know is to have an understanding of Active Directory. Now there are lots of courses in the course library that will help you understand what Active Directory is. In fact, there are hours and hours of courses and lessons that explain Active Directory and help people administer Active Directory.

So if you go through all of those, one, it'll take you a lot of time. Two, you'll have a better understanding of Active Directory than probably almost anyone else on the planet outside of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Now, the other thing that it will help you to understand is Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell is a command environment that lets you type in commands to do administrative tasks in Active Directory and in Office 365. Now, I've included a Windows PowerShell overview lesson in this course and in other courses throughout the Office 365 administration track to help you understand the things that you need to know about PowerShell that are really specific to Office 365 and that is just an understanding of what it can do and what the syntax of PowerShell is.

What's more, in the interest of saving you quite a bit of time and trouble, I'll give you just a one or two-sentence overview of Active Directory to help you understand what it is in case you are being exposed to some of these concepts for the very first time. Put simply, Active Directory is a database of items in your IT network. So if there is a user in your network, Active Directory stores information about that user. If there is a computer, Active Directory could store information about that computer.

So it's a database of items. It's also the information about those items. Your user has a name, the computer has a name and so on. So without going into the hours and hours of detail that is necessary to fully flush out Active Directory, that's at a very high conceptual level what it is. It's centralized gathered in one place and then that centralized database can be shared out and copied to other computers throughout the network and throughout the globe so that anytime that people are accessing resources in an Active Directory environment, it is accessing or you are assessing the exact same replicated database.

So again, that is the cliff notes version of Active Directory and hopefully that will help you get started.

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Network and system admins can prepare on-premises directories and connect to Azure to take advantage of managing Office 365 groups and users using common identities. Preparation, setup, and administration steps are demonstrated in this course using the Azure Active Directory (AAD) Connect tool. This course is designed to provide you with a better understanding of domain controllers, identity management, synchronization, and more. This course is also an exam preparation resource with topics that map to a corresponding domain in the Office 365 70-346 exam: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements.

Topics include:

  • Active Directory Connect and Office 365

  • Planning for non-routable domain names

  • Cleaning up Active Directory objects

  • Using the IDFix tool

  • Filtering Active Directory

  • Using AAD install

  • Synchronizing passwords and attributes

  • Creating and managing users and groups

  • Scheduling and forcing AD synchronization

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