The first beta test of DocAve Online is still fresh in my memory. Since the initial dry runs in 2012, our cloud platform for Office 365 management has seen exponential growth in features, user base, and technology. We’ve evolved from a few virtual machines (VMs) running in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environments to what AvePoint Online Services is today – a single unified platform and truly scalable solution built on Azure that supports Office 365 management, governance, compliance, and file share presentation for 3 million users worldwide.
Today, we announced the beginning of a new wave of AvePoint Online Services updates that are designed to make work in Office 365 simpler for both administrators and business users alike. This post will focus how true integration with Azure Active Directory (AD) and extended support of SQL Azure Database enables easy access and better scalability for AvePoint Online Services users.
True Single Sign On with Azure AD Integration
We’re pleased to share that the entire AvePoint Online Services platform is now integrated with Azure AD, Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud based directory and identity management service. Integrating with Azure AD brings a set of significant benefits and opens up the roadmap for a lot of new and exciting features. The features available today are:
- True Single Sign On: You no longer need to remember individual AvePoint Online Services accounts and passwords, as they are now the same as your Office 365 ID. Passwords stay in sync, and moving between AvePoint Online Services and Office 365 is just like moving between closely integrated platforms like SharePoint and Yammer.
- Access AvePoint Online Services Directly in your App Launcher: You no longer have to navigate separately to the AvePoint Online Services application. With Azure AD integration, the app appears right in your app launcher (fondly referred to by many as the “Waffle”) to make it easy for an IT admin or end user to access the appropriate AOS components. Again, this helps make AvePoint Online Services a natural extension of your Office 365 experience.
- Enhanced Security for Azure AD Premium Users: If you’re leveraging technologies like multi-factor authentication (MFA), domain, or device controls, AvePoint Online Services is now also protected by these security methodologies. Anyone trying to log into AOS will receive the same security checks as they would logging into Office 365, and once they do, their session will be preserved.
SQL Azure Database Support
Since day one, we’ve been providing AvePoint Online Services customers with Azure Blob Block storage for critical backups and archive data as well as SQL Azure Database storage for storing audit and security records. With the growing need for historical data to observe trends or to maintain records for compliance purposes, customers have been asking for ways to extend how many records they can store. With our latest release, customers can bring their own SQL Azure Database accounts to extend and scale their reporting capacity according to need.
Paving a way for the Future
Many customers have asked us, “Can AvePoint Online Services scale?” With the help of Azure’s powerful Platform-as-as-Service (PaaS) architecture as well as the ability to test against a 30,000 user tenant, we can confidently say “YES!” However, scale isn’t just about how many worker roles we can throw at a problem – it’s how a customer can visualize and manage their complex environment. “How do I effectively run a security audit for 50,000 sites? How do I perform a backup for all 20,000 of my users’ OneDrives?” There are major overhauls coming to our online services throughout the next few months that will allow for intelligent plan building as well as automatic detection of new users, drives, and mailboxes.
In addition to the initial benefits discussed today, our latest release of AvePoint Online Services paves the way for a whole new generation of features to help you better manage Office 365. The support for SQL Azure and integration with Azure AD prepares us to go live with exciting features built on top of Microsoft’s powerful Management Activity API, which we demonstrated at Ignite. Keep an eye out for more announcements coming soon, right here!
Have a question about how AvePoint Online Services can help you manage Office 365? Leave a comment on this post or join the conversation in our product forum!