Azure AD B2B vs B2C


What is Azure AD?

Azure Active Directory, or Azure AD, is a cloud-based identity provider service by Microsoft, whose main purpose is to authenticate and authorize users of cloud applications (SaaS apps).

Azure AD Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) are External Identity solutions that enable organizations to manage external users' access to their applications and resources.

Access to Consumer-Facing Apps (B2C)

  • Identity Access Management (IAM) for SaaS and custom developed Apps excluding Microsoft first-party apps
  • Collaboration with consumers of your product
  • Users are managed in a separate Azure AD directory

External User Collaboration (B2B)

  • Externally sharing in Microsoft 365, Teams, or your own applications
  • Collaboration with suppliers, partners, vendors, etc.
  • Users exist as Guest users in your directory

In this article, we've put together a comparison of the functionalities of Azure B2C and Azure B2B, as well as B2B integrated with Extranet User Manager (EUM) capabilities. The table below is a breakdown of which features they support, and how identities are managed.

Azure B2C

Azure B2B

B2B with EUM

Separate Azure AD directory for externally accessed applications

Users exist as guests in your organization's Azure AD directory

Guests can sign in with their organization or personal email addresses

Federated login with Facebook and Gmail

One time passcode support

Enterprise integration to other systems as part of the sign-up process

MFA through email and SMS

MFA through email, SMS, and Microsoft Authenticator App

Not Supported

Conditional access policies, including MFA criteria

Not Supported

Configuration of MFA validation performed by trusted organizations

Not Supported

Full support for external users in Microsoft 365 (Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, Planner, Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate)

Not Supported

Guests and members can be in the same groups

Not Supported

Identity protection and risky sign-in detection

Not Supported

Sensitivity labelling, rights management, document encryption

Unified sign-up and sign-in

Separate sign-up link

Intelligent flow guides them down the appropriate path based on whether they already have an account or not

Custom domain support for the sign-up and sign-in process

Sign-up and sign-in done on

Custom domain support for the sign-up and sign-in process

Custom domain support for password entry

Password entry done on

Fully customizable UI and branding for the sign-up and sign-in pages

Templated branding and UI for the sign-up and sign-in pages

Fully customizable UI and branding for the sign-up and sign-in pages

Fully customizable UI and branding for the password page

Templated branding and UI for the password page

Not supported

E-commerce support through Stripe or other payment gateways for registration and group join

Bridging the Gap between B2B and B2C

Suppose your organization is looking to employ Azure B2C to help manage consumer identities within the product's tenant. The following are some common applications of such a scenario:

  • The organization wants to enable and protect customer identities on custom-built transactional applications
  • The organization wants to create and manage a directory specifically for customers
  • The organization wants to enable access to its apps using a wide range of accounts, including local application and social identities
  • Controls such as single sign-on, custom domains, branding, policies, and compliance requirements need to be managed by the application rather than the organization

Much of the above can also be achieved with B2B. While the branding is less customizable and the URL will appear in the sign-in and sign-up process, the remainder can be well managed in B2B. This will also give the added advantage of a much richer multi-factor authentication, security controls, and full support for Microsoft 365.

EUM can bridge much of the gap by providing B2C functionality while leveraging all the features of B2B. By creating consumer-focused groups in your custom-branded EUM portal, you can define how users gain access to your organization’s applications. A fully customizable registration and sign-in running on a custom domain allows users to sign in using their personal or social accounts, with the benefit of conditional access policies determined by the organization, enhanced security through identity protection, risky sign-in detection, document encryption, and much more. Even e-commerce is supported through EUM's Stripe integration, allowing for seamless and secure payment.

Essentially, EUM will allow your organization to create a consumer directory that has the manageability and security of B2B, while surpassing the ease of use of B2C.

Upcoming Events

Interested in learning more about how EUM and B2B collaborate for an optimized guest user management experience? Register for our upcoming, Azure B2B and Guest Management Webinar, which will be held on June 23rd from 12 - 1 PM EST.

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