Directory synchronisation (that is, ensuring your Active Directory objects are replicated to Azure AD) is a key part of all but the very smallest of Office 365 deployments.
Microsoft have made several revisions to its directory synchronisation tool, going under names such as DirSync, Azure AD Sync, and Azure AD Connect, each with several versions.
So the news that Azure AD Connect 1.1 was released last week might not be top of the news agenda, but it does come with several important and interesting enhancements over previous versions.
|Reduction in the sync interval to keep your Azure AD in sync with AD on-premises more quickly||Previous versions have replicated directory information only every three hours, with changes to the frequency being unsupported. The new tool defaults to every half an hour, which is much better. You can configure this setting to replicate less frequently if you wish.|
|Support for automatic upgrades||Future upgrades will be much easier.|
|Ability to switch between sign-in methods through the wizard to enable faster pilots||Switching between single sign-on with AD FS and synchronised passwords is now easily done through the wizard.|
|Support for Domain and OU filtering within the wizard||Some organisations will want to exclude certain OUs (or, in larger environments, whole domains). Previously this was done by diving into the underlying Identity Manager platform with a complex series of steps. This is now configured easily through a wizard.|
If you’re running an older version of the tool, upgrading is recommended.