Two alternative ways to get started with Azure Active Directory

Azure Active Directory

Microsoft offers a page that describes how to setup an Azure Active Directory tenant.
However, I feel this way isn’t always the most obvious way to start with Azure Active Directory.

In this blogpost, I’ll explain two alternative ways you can get started with your own Azure AD tenant, what you need per registration method and what the downsides are for each method.


Use a Microsoft Offer

Microsoft has several offers that you can take advantage of without needing to wave a credit card, be associated to a Microsoft Partner or even have a Microsoft account.

The below link is a good example of such a Microsoft offer:

This particular offer creates a brand new Azure AD tenant and includes 25 30-day Office 365 E3 licenses.


  • You need an email address.

What you need to know

  • After the  trial period, the Azure AD tenant remains fully functional.
  • You can add trials for Azure AD Premium P2 and/or EMS E5 to the tenant to extend the functionality of the Azure AD tenant, just as you can with any other tenant.

Use the above link to register your Azure AD tenant.


Use a Microsoft Demo Experience

Microsoft offers pre-provisioned environments for several purposes to IT professionals and developers that need an Azure AD tenant to run tests on through its Customer Transformation Experiences (CTX) initiative.


  • You need to be registered with a Microsoft Partner organization

What you need to know

  • You can create up to five 90-day experiences and one 1-year experience.
  • Experiences can last up to 1 year. Licenses that are part of the experience are valid for the same period as the experience.
  • Experiences last up to 1 year. After this time period, the environment is irrevocably removed. There are no extensions.

Use the following steps to register a Microsoft Demo environment:

  • Navigate your browser to the Modern Workplace Digital Experiences website.
  • At the sign-in screen, sign in with an account that is registered with a Microsoft Partner organization.
  • Accept the Microsoft Platform policies by selecting the option to agree to the policies and then click the Accept and Continue button.
  • In the top bar, select the My Environments tab.
  • In the My Environments page, click the Create Tenant button.

My Environments in the Modern Workplace Digital Experiences website (click for original screenshot)

  • Select 1 year as the period for step 2.
  • Select the geographic location you want to environment provisioned in for step 3.
  • For step 4 choose the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Demo Content environment, by clicking the Create Tenant button in its area.
    The Terms of Use modal window appears.
  • Select the By processing you agree to the Microsoft Platform policies option and click the Accept and Continue button.

Your environment will be provisioned. After provisioning you will be redirected to the overview page for the experience you created. Here you will find the credentials for the admin account and all other information you might need to get started and keep going.

When you select the My Environments tab in the top bar, you now see your environment listed.

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