The story starts back in 2007 when our founders, Omri Gazitt and Gert Drapers, were working on what would eventually become Azure Active Directory. At that time, Active Directory was a keystone workload for Windows Server. It enabled IT admins to map users and groups into the roles that enterprise apps exposed.
However, when enterprise software moved to the cloud, there was no longer a server operating system that could authenticate the user and keep track of what groups they’re a member of. As a result, every cloud application was forced to reinvent both authentication and authorization. The Azure Access Control Service and Azure Active Directory were early efforts towards reimagining identity and access for the age of SaaS and cloud.