Identity is hard. Between passwords, user personal information in profiles, hackers trying to brute force your login pages, managing multi-factor authentication providers, and make sure your login system is secure so you don’t have a security event that doesn’t seem to leave a lot of time for you to work on the real value your application is bringing your users and company. For end users how many people can say that want to create another username and password to have to remember and that they look forward to that when looking for a new app to use.

What is Azure Active Directory B2C?

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) B2C is a managed business-to-consumer identity management service offered by Microsoft Azure. This service enables you to customize and control how users securely interact with your web, desktop, mobile, or single-page applications. Using Azure AD B2C, users can sign up, sign in, reset passwords, and edit profiles. Azure AD B2C implements a form of the OpenID Connect and OAuth 2.0 protocols. Because Azure AD B2C is a PaaS offering your developers and operations staff are freed from having to maintain and manage the authentication platform for your application.

Why would I choose Azure AD B2C for my customer identity platform?

When looking at your options for managing your user’s identity for your application you might want to use ASP.NET Identity to handle local users in a SQL database for instance. But while local users are the tried and true way of doing user management for many years it does limit your options for growth into identities that are sourced from external systems such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft. Additionally, when looking down the line at your identity management solution now you want to add another application and a mobile app to your application portfolio. How will your ASP.NET Identity system support these other systems and users wanting to have one account for your brand?

Azure AD B2C allows you to have a hosted identity provider platform for your entire brand to use with a common logon and a single profile to represent your users across all your applications. Now you might be wondering how your going to integrate this into your existing applications. For that you can leverage Microsoft Authentication Library (MSAL) to enable your applications to securely authenticate users against Azure AD B2C. By using MSAL with Azure AD B2C you can light up single sign-on and external user identities across your Single Page Applications, MVC Web Apps, Mobile Apps, and Desktop Apps. Additionally, Azure AD B2C provides build in security leveraging Microsoft’s existing investments in Azure AD’s security features such as Multi-Factor Authentication, Denial-of-Service protection, and Password Brute Forcing protection.

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Conclusion

At Nebbia, we’re huge believers in helping companies create more business value through Azure and DevOps. I also believe that to be an effective and high-performing organization, having a strong identity foundation is key to accelerating cloud adoption. From figuring out where to start your Customer’s Identity Journey to initial implementation and beyond, we would love to partner with you along your journey. We’ll set you in the right direction and work with you along the way to ensure a successful transition.