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Remotely Access On-Premises Apps with Azure AD App Proxy

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In the modern workplace, remote access to on-premises applications is essential for ensuring productivity and efficiency. However, providing secure remote access can be a challenging task. Azure AD App Proxy is a powerful solution that enables organizations to securely publish and access on-premises apps from anywhere. In this article, we will explore how Azure AD App Proxy works, its benefits, and how to set it up to enhance the accessibility and security of your on-premises applications.

What is Azure AD App Proxy?

Azure AD App Proxy is a feature of Azure Active Directory that allows organizations to provide remote access to on-premises applications without the need for complex VPN setups. It acts as a secure reverse proxy, enabling users to access on-premises apps through Azure AD authentication.

How Azure AD App Proxy Works

Azure AD App Proxy works by establishing a secure connection between the user’s device and the on-premises application. When a user tries to access an on-premises app, the request is first sent to Azure AD. Azure AD authenticates the user and performs any required multi-factor authentication checks. Once the user is authenticated, Azure AD App Proxy securely forwards the request to the on-premises application. This ensures that the app remains protected behind the organization’s firewall.

Benefits of Using Azure AD App Proxy

Using Azure AD App Proxy offers several benefits for organizations:

1. Enhanced Security

Azure AD App Proxy provides a secure way to access on-premises applications without exposing them directly to the internet. This minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and potential cyber threats.

2. Simplified Remote Access

Azure AD App Proxy eliminates the need for complex VPN configurations, making it easier for users to access on-premises apps remotely. Users can access the apps from any device, including smartphones and tablets.

3. Single Sign-On (SSO)

Azure AD App Proxy supports single sign-on, allowing users to access on-premises apps with their existing Azure AD credentials. This enhances user experience and reduces the need for remembering multiple login credentials.

4. Seamless Integration

Azure AD App Proxy seamlessly integrates with Azure AD and other Microsoft services, making it a natural choice for organizations already using Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem.

Setting Up Azure AD App Proxy

Setting up Azure AD App Proxy involves the following steps:

1. Azure AD Configuration

Ensure that your organization’s Azure AD is properly set up. Verify that the necessary user accounts and groups are created in Azure AD and that the on-premises apps you want to publish are registered.

2. Install Azure AD Application Proxy Connector

To enable communication between Azure AD and on-premises applications, you need to install the Azure AD Application Proxy Connector on a server within your on-premises network. This connector acts as a bridge between Azure AD and your on-premises apps.

3. Configure App Proxy

In the Azure portal, navigate to the Azure AD App Proxy section and select “Add an on-premises application.” Follow the wizard to provide the necessary details for your on-premises app, such as the internal URL and any additional authentication settings.

4. Test the Configuration

After configuring Azure AD App Proxy, perform thorough testing to ensure that users can access the on-premises apps securely. Test both internal and external access to verify the functionality and security of the setup.


Is Azure AD App Proxy available with all Azure AD editions?

Azure AD App Proxy is available with Azure AD Premium P1 and P2 editions.

Can I use Azure AD App Proxy for web-based applications only?

No, Azure AD App Proxy supports both web-based and non-web-based applications, making it versatile for various on-premises apps.

How does Azure AD App Proxy handle user authentication?

Azure AD App Proxy uses Azure AD authentication to verify user identities before granting access to on-premises apps.

Can I set up multi-factor authentication with Azure AD App Proxy?

Yes, Azure AD App Proxy supports multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security.

Is Azure AD App Proxy suitable for small businesses?

Yes, Azure AD App Proxy is beneficial for organizations of all sizes, including small businesses, as it simplifies remote access to on-premises apps without compromising security.


Azure AD App Proxy is a valuable tool for organizations seeking secure and streamlined remote access to on-premises applications. By integrating Azure AD App Proxy into your Azure AD environment and following the setup process, you can ensure that your users can access on-premises apps securely and conveniently from anywhere. With its enhanced security, simplified remote access, and seamless integration with Azure AD, Azure AD App Proxy is a key solution to empower your workforce and enhance productivity.

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