Azure AD B2B vs Azure AD B2C: What Is the Difference?
Azure AD B2B (Azure Active Directory Business to Business) and Azure AD B2C (Azure Active Directory Business to Customer) are External Identity solutions for empowering organizations to allow users outside their corporate network access their applications and resources. These solutions lend flexibility to external users to use their preferred identities for signing in to the organization’s applications. Stakeholders such as vendors, partners, guests, and suppliers can use the “bring your own identity capability” of Azure AD External Identity solutions to take advantage of company resources. This means external users can use identities from managed-IT solutions such as other Azure AD tenants or unmanaged identities such as those from social media sites like LinkedIn. Now that we know how Azure AD External Identities work, let us look at the differences between Azure AD B2B vs Azure AD B2C.
What is Azure AD B2B?
Azure AD B2B is an external identity management solution for sharing application access for business-to-business collaboration. Users can be invited as guests to a business’ Azure AD tenant and can be assigned permissions for application authentication with credentials they already own. External users can use their work account, educational institution account, or any other email credential to accept the invite and access the shared resources. It is also possible for businesses to customize the user journey during the sign-up process for applications using Self-service sign-up user flows.
When Should Azure AD B2B Be Used?
Azure AD B2B should be used in scenarios in which businesses require cross-organization collaboration. Here are some scenarios in which Azure AD B2B deployment is appropriate.
- Businesses need to collaborate using Microsoft applications and services such as those in the Office 365 suite like Teams, Word Online, SharePoint Online, etc.
- Users from another organization have to be authenticated even when they have a different identity provider.
- Employees, students, or professionals need to use their work or school email addresses to access organizational resources.
- Businesses need to manage external users in the same directory as employees.
- Enable Single Sign-On (SSO) for on-premises and cloud applications.
What is Azure AD B2C?
Azure AD B2C (business to customer) is a solution for businesses to protect external identities on customer-facing applications. As a scalable identity management system, users with pre-existing social identities on third-party applications such as Facebook or Google can log in to white-labeled applications deployed by businesses that leverage Azure AD B2C to customize, control, and manage user profiles and sign-on process.
When Should Azure AD B2C Be Used?
Azure AD B2C should be used when businesses need to build an identity repository for their customer-facing applications. Here are some scenarios in which Azure AD B2C deployment is appropriate.
- Enable and protect customer identities on custom-built transactional applications.
- Create and maintain a directory for customers independent of the organization’s internal directory for employees and other stakeholders.
- Enable access to the business’ web and mobile applications using a wide range of accounts including local application and social identities.
- Controls such as SSO, branding, policies, and compliance requirements have to be managed by the application rather than the organization.
Apps4Rent Can Help with Azure AD Identity Management
Securing and managing accounts of partners, customers, and other external stakeholders is a challenging task for most organizations as they scale up their business. Azure AD External Identities solutions simplify the process. While the differences between Azure AD B2B vs Azure AD B2C are fairly straightforward, the latter in particular is more of an independent service, unlike Azure AD B2B which is a feature of Azure AD. As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent identifies and implements Azure services and solutions such as Azure AD and Azure Windows Virtual Desktop at promotional prices for businesses around the globe. We are available for consultation 24/7 via phone, chat, and email. Contact us today for Azure services assistance.