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A day will come when Azure Active Directory 'classic' portal is killed. But it is not this day

Microsoft extends end-of-life till January 8. Why? Uh, Microsoft

By Andrew Silver

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Updated For reasons unknown, Microsoft has decided at the last minute not to pull the plug on the old Azure Active Directory portal just yet.

The "classic" portal will now retire January 8, instead of today.

The new Azure admin console was first previewed September 2016, and when released in May Microsoft boasted "over 750k admins from 500k organizations have tried it out".

It updates the landing page and management dashboard (including user app access) and activity reports with "rich filtering and search capabilities". It also adds "the opportunity to integrate with the other services you use" such as Microsoft Intune and Enterprise Mobility + Security conditional access.

Microsoft set the November 30 death date for the old portal on September 18 in order to help "simplify the admin experience for Azure AD".

But now, tacked on the end of a blog post Wednesday about conditional access policies, Identity Division program management director Alex Simons wrote: "We've also updated the retirement date of our administration experience in the Azure classic portal. That experience will be retired on Monday, January 8, 2018."

Microsoft accidentally broke the login to Azure Active Directory in August after a redesign.

Simons promised that Microsoft would have all the classic functionality moved to the new portal by November 30.

One Microsoft partner told The Register he didn't know why Redmond decided to extend the deadline. "The new/V2 portal has been around for at least six months, possibly a year, and I would have thought that most clients use it," he said.

But he was "sure they have a reason", which could include "specific customer request or a capability that's needed not working properly".

An Azure customer using the new portal, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Register "the learning curve from the old portal for Azure AD was quite steep".

He added that the Azure Active Directory links in the November 11 Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 3, the on-premises software dev platform for Visual Studio, still point to the classic portal.

"To find these manually in the new portal is very difficult as they are nested multiple windows down," he said.

One thing you can do with TFS is set up a release pipeline for deploying into Azure, and managing it requires accessing Azure Service Principals from Azure Active Directory.

Update

After the story was published, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "The Azure AD team's plan hasn't changed – we are working to get all the features of Azure AD ported into the new portal before we turn the old portal off.

"This work took about a month longer than we expected. The last features necessary to meet this bar are targeted to go live next week.

"Based on this and the impending holiday season when many customers are in IT lockdown, we felt the best thing for customers was to give them some extra time to try out the features in the new portal before we turn off the old portal in early January." ®

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