7 Best Active Directory and Office 365 Management Software for Small to Medium Business in 2023

The 2 most necessary software program utilized by small to medium organizations to run the IT infrastructure and operations effectively are Home windows Server and Workplace 365 (Microsoft 365).

Organizations of all sizes all over the world use Microsoft merchandise, and as per Statista report, Microsoft Home windows has over 69% market share as of Dec 2021.

Picture credit score: microsoft.com

A major international market share of Home windows servers has a core engine. With out it, the Home windows server can’t be a website controller and might’t play an necessary function in server networks worldwide.

The core engine of Microsoft Home windows Server is Energetic Listing (AD).

Energetic Listing (AD) is the mainstay of the server that gives authentication for each useful resource that tries to entry area assets within the infrastructure. Subsequently, managing and administration of AD are of utmost significance.

On this put up, we’ll perceive what AD is, the way it capabilities, its construction and advantages, and at last, we’ll see prime software program used to handle lively listing effectively.

Energetic Listing (AD)

AD is a set of providers and databases that runs on Microsoft Home windows Server, and it performs a significant function in establishing a Home windows server as a website controller. With out AD, a Home windows server can solely be a standalone server and might’t be a website server.

As a database, AD shops total infrastructure info comparable to customers, computer systems, teams, functions, and different objects, and these objects are categorized in keeping with their title and attributes.

AD simplifies the work of directors to handle entry management and privileges of community assets and varied objects. Its mechanism helps to authenticate customers and supply mandatory privileges to entry community assets or objects. It additionally presents extra providers, together with Single Signal-On (SSO), safety certificates, LDAP, and entry rights administration.

Different necessary providers AD supplies are Light-weight Listing Providers (LDS), Certificates Providers, Energetic Listing Federation Providers, and Rights Administration Providers.

How Energetic Listing (AD) is structured?

AD shops information in a hierarchical construction comprising domains, timber, and forests.

  • Domains: A site represents a gaggle of objects comparable to customers, teams, and gadgets, which share the identical AD database.
Picture credit score: microsoft.com
  • Bushes: A number of domains kind a single Tree and a number of domains in a tree belief one another.
  • Forest: A Forest is a gaggle of Bushes. The timber in the identical forest belief one another, and also will share listing schemas, catalogs, software info, and area configurations.
  • Organizational Items (OU): An OU is used to arrange customers, teams, computer systems, and different organizational items.

About Workplace 365

Workplace 365 is a cloud-based SaaS (Software program as a Service) answer supplied by Microsoft on a subscription mannequin.

This software program package deal contains the identical performance as conventional variations of Microsoft Workplace, together with Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and extra functions comparable to Entry, Writer, and so on.

As Microsoft Workplace 365 is cloud-based, enterprise customers, small and huge, can work from anyplace with no need an exterior infrastructure with the perfect safety with cloud storage.

In accordance with the most recent Statista report, 731,000 firms in america alone use Workplace 365 and a couple of million firms worldwide.

Whereas Workplace 365 is a whole and end-to-end software program, we’ll have a look at third-party Workplace 365 administration software program that helps your enterprise to handle IT infrastructure with enhanced safety, take frequent backup and restore as and when required, a number of reporting for information compliance and auditing, and so on. briefly improvisation of total organizational efficiency.

Why use Energetic Listing (AD) and Workplace 365 Administration Software program?

Microsoft’s AD providers are versatile and highly effective, however as networks and infrastructure develop, firms are in search of options to simplify operations and administration. AD additionally has restricted backup, restore, automation, and reporting capabilities.

Widespread use of Workplace 365 is failing in a number of areas, e.g., a restricted variety of customers that may be managed concurrently, lack of assist for CSV-based group consumer modifications, and extra.

To customise Workplace 365, IT admins usually want to make use of a scripting language like PowerShell, which will be time-consuming and cumbersome.

Even directors have to change between a number of consoles to handle Energetic Listing, Trade Server, and Workplace 365 environments. This provides to the administrator’s burden and will increase the time it takes to finish every job.

Going additional, backup and restore choices are restricted, and automation choices are only a few. Automation is sort of necessary with right this moment’s rising handbook exercise.

Subsequently, we’ll have a look at a number of the exterior software program used to handle AD and Workplace 365 to deal with right this moment’s challenges like group add-ons, automation, delegation, compliance, safety, and so on. Let’s begin by reviewing the software program for straightforward administration and operation of Energetic Listing and Workplace 365:

ManageEngine ADManager Plus

The award-winning (120+ awards) ManageEngine software program supplies IT administration software program for small to giant companies at an inexpensive worth. These merchandise cowl service administration, operations administration, lively listing, and safety necessities. The corporate claims that 3 out of 5 Fortune 500 firms use ManageEngine merchandise.

ADManager Plus software program is a web-based platform for managing and operating Energetic Listing (AD), Workplace 365, and Trade all the pieces from a central console.

It helps to consolidate and centralize AD reviews, makes it simpler to delegate administrative duties, helps preserve AD buildings clear, all with much less effort, and saves loads of time for directors.

This software program simplifies the day-to-day work of system directors within the type of creating group consumer accounts in AD by altering consumer account properties, together with Trade Mailbox and Terminal Providers properties.

Person and Energetic Listing compliance and audits will be maintained with a minimal of effort utilizing the software program’s built-in 200 reviews.

Options of AD

  • Reviews on compliance with authorities laws comparable to SOX, HIPAA, GLBA, PCI, and others.
  • Create and delegate safety roles to grant/revoke permissions
  • Automate common AD duties backup, restore, customers provisioning, clear up inactive customers, follow-up duties, and so on.

Managing Workplace 365 with ADManager Plus

With ADManager Plus, you possibly can handle Workplace 365 with out the trouble and limitation. This software program permits you to obtain reviews for lively and inactive customers and license particulars with out utilizing the sophisticated scripting language.

The software program can generate greater than 80 preconfigured reviews about customers, teams, contacts, Workplace 365 licenses, Trade mailboxes, and Workplace 365 net functions with out utilizing advanced scripts.

In depth reviews simplify reporting and assist admins make knowledgeable selections about managing a well-organized Workplace 365 atmosphere.

ADManager Plus additionally helps with group consumer administration, contact administration, automation, and report scheduling.


  • Versatile license administration for Workplace 365
  • Automate day by day Microsoft 365 admin duties with easy one-click actions and look at an in depth historical past of all automated duties
  • Reviews will be scheduled, archived, and emailed.
  • View detailed details about Workplace 365 environments with pre-configured reviews

The software program simplifies the operation and administration of Energetic Listing and Workplace 365 administration and takes it to the following stage when it comes to usability, reporting, safety, fault tolerance, and extra. The software program’s in depth reviews present help with compliance and supply, the perfect services or products for directors, auditors, and managers.

The software program has three editions: free, customary, {and professional} editions. The free version has restricted AD objects. The complete model of the software program will be evaluated in 30 days. Costs begin at $595.00 per yr. The entire demo will be considered right here.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Workplace 365

Information safety is of significant significance for any group, so to make the information safe on the Workplace 365 platform, Veeam backup supplies a complete answer.

Picture credit score: veeam.com

Microsoft Workplace 365 is a secure and versatile platform for working with Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and plenty of others, however information safety comes first. In accordance with the report, 85% of Microsoft 365 customers have been affected by the information breach.

In accordance with the corporate web site, the software program has 5.8 million contracts and received greater than 200 awards in varied classes. Veeam software program is utilized by 69% of two,000 firms worldwide.

Veeam is an end-to-end backup and restoration answer for Microsoft merchandise, together with Workplace 365, Trade Server, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Groups. The software program additionally presents ransomware safety and on-premise and cloud safety.

Utilizing this software program eliminates the danger of shedding entry to and management over workplace information and folders, Microsoft Groups e-mail information, SharePoint websites, paperwork, libraries, OneDrive accounts, and settings, so your information is all the time protected and accessible.

Along with Workplace 365, the software program additionally presents backup options for Home windows, Linux, NAS, VMware, Azure, AWS and Nutanix, Energetic Listing, and MySQL.


  • Again up information each 5 minutes and restore flexibility in additional than 40 methods
  • Permits you to set the frequency and time for Trade and Sharepoint information to scale back information middle affect
  • On-premises and cloud backup choices comparable to AWS, Azure, and IBM Cloud
  • Detailed and complicated archive search to recuperate correct information to deal with disruptions in your enterprise

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Workplace 365 is obtainable in annual subscriptions starting from 1 to five years. The software program is free to make use of for 30 days earlier than being deployed to the stay atmosphere. Licenses can be found for a consumer base, permitting flexibility so as to add licenses because the variety of customers will increase.

Datto SaaS Safety

Datto SaaS Safety presents a complete information safety answer for Microsoft 365, Trade, Calendar, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Groups information with 3 times a day backup and versatile restoration choices.

This software program is specifically designed for Managed Service Suppliers (MSPs) by combining SaaS safety and SaaS protection instruments. It protects information from phishing scans by malicious cyber threats and helps guarantee complete phishing prevention by defending information via frequent archiving and quick information restoration.

A centralized and scalable console allows MSP prospects to guard towards ingestion and handle information quarantine and archiving makes an attempt.

Briefly, the Datto SaaS Safety Platform helps streamline information compliance, enterprise continuity, and safety and is all the pieces small and huge companies must run a profitable enterprise.

High Options

Safety towards malicious cyber threats and information deletion errors

  • Superior menace safety that detects zero-day threats at first encounter, not days later
  • Establish unknown threats as a substitute of in search of identified safety threats
  • Shield OneDrive folder from malware and one-click restoration
  • Auto archive for OneDrive, SharePoint, Groups, Gmail, Google Contacts, and extra archives everytime you want them

If you’re in search of a enterprise continuity answer to guard your information from cyber threats and information loss, then Datto is without doubt one of the catastrophe restoration instruments. This license is user-based and accessible upon request.


Quest presents Energetic Listing (AD), Azure AD, and Hybrid AD options for administration, migration, and safety.

The AD migration and consolidation answer supplied by Quest has no affect on reorganizing a manufacturing or stay atmosphere with out service interruptions.

Quest simplifies day-to-day AD administration actions, definitely saving money and time, comparable to: managing AD accounts and teams, group insurance policies, well being and availability checks, and extra.

AD safety is taken to the next stage by adopting the Quest platform by figuring out compromises, stopping breaches, and mitigating threats. The software program supplies real-time scanning of consumer exercise and alerts about suspicious exercise.

The Quest software program is obtainable for a limited-time trial, and pricing is obtainable upon request.


Adaxes is an award-winning superior automation and administration platform that gives enhanced administration for Energetic Listing, Microsoft 365 (Workplace 365), and Trade.

This user-friendly software program simplifies day by day actions, automates repetitive duties, and presents enhanced safety for Energetic Listing and Microsoft 365.

One in all its uniqueness is that it presents full consumer lifecycle administration automation when it comes to upkeep and administration comparable to assigning mailboxes, Microsoft 365 licenses, activating user-specific Skype accounts, creating dwelling folders, welcome-sending emails, and far more.

It’s a web-based platform that gives role-based entry management for customers and teams to make sure extra particular and safe permission to satisfy enterprise information requirements.

Its single centralized console with deep customization is used to handle AD, configure mailboxes, and handle Microsoft 365 licenses.

IT directors’ day by day duties will be automated and frequently scheduled to avoid wasting time and person-hours. They will obtain varied sorts of reviews from greater than 200 preconfigured reviews or customise them based mostly on particular necessities.


  • Scale back workload as most consumer administration duties will be automated
  • Enhanced safety via permission-based workflows and a role-based safety
  • Efficient AD environmental audit as a result of a complete reporting mannequin
  • Automate the creation of mailboxes, distribution lists, and mail-enabled recipients
  • Self-recovery password from login display for macOS customers and Widows

Adaxes common net UI can be utilized by admins, helpdesk, HR, managers, and different staff to carry out their administrative duties for AD, Trade, and Microsoft 365.

The software program will be examined totally free for 30 days. The license coverage is predicated on the variety of lively customers in AD. Perpetual licenses begin at $1600 for no less than 100 lively customers.


AdminDroid is a instrument to watch, analyze and generate 600+ reviews for Workplace 365 and its total household, together with Azure AD, Trade, Sharepoint, Onedrive, Skype, and Microsoft Groups.

Picture credit score: admindroid.com

This software program is used to handle all the Microsoft 365 stack with modern options comparable to micro-level delegation, superior scheduling, AI-based reporting, and extra. It’s utilized by 60 million customers from greater than 110 international locations.

AdminDroid additionally provides you an outline of your present SharePoint settings, permissions, sharing invitations, and doc permissions. Routine administrative actions will be assigned to customers to entry or monitor particular Microsoft customers, teams, mailboxes, and groups.

Its alerts characteristic is highly effective sufficient to catch new and weird occasions to warn you about failed logins and compelled makes an attempt to guard the Office365 atmosphere.

The software program supplies an extra layer of safety when it comes to behavioral evaluation, forensic investigations, fraud, and information breach investigations.

Picture credit score: admindroid.com

A wide range of statistical and audit reviews will be generated, together with licenses, teams, safety, mailbox dimension and utilization, e-mail visitors, spam and malware, and extra.


  • Screens, each exercise inside Workplace 365 and does analysis on nameless exercise
  • Over 45 preconfigured indicators to guard Microsoft 365 infrastructure
  • Delegate efficient administration of assets, reviews, and dashboards
  • Detailed utilization and safety reviews assist adjust to audits comparable to HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, ISO 27001, and others.

AdminDroid has a free model and premium editions like Normal and Professional. The premium version will be examined totally free for 15 days. Costs begin at $49 per yr for 150 customers. You may see a stay software program demo right here.

Imanami GroupID

GroupID presents Energetic Listing and Workplace 365 options, together with automation, delegation, administration, and lifecycle administration for customers and teams.

The software program obtained the 2021 Gartner Peer Insights Award for the client’s voice in identification administration and governance.

Its automation platform simplifies the administration of teams, customers, and permissions for every type of organizations, saving human time and rising environmental accuracy and safety.

Its sync mechanism detects AD modifications and replicates information throughout all platforms, together with on-premises, hybrid, and cloud environments.

The delegation perform in identification and entry administration simplifies advanced actions comparable to consumer provisioning, de-provisioning, and different administrative duties via a self-service net portal.


  • Switch and terminate accounts on the contact of a button
  • Group and consumer administration options assist you to make sensible and well timed selections concerning attestation necessities.
  • Gives an in depth view of unstructured information
  • Scale back human error with query-based group definitions
  • Enhance listing consistency and safety by guaranteeing customers don’t have extreme privileges

GroupID is safe and simple to put in and preserve. It allows IT admins to automate and lengthen AD and Workplace 365 performance to the following stage to successfully handle IT infrastructure and preserve it safe.

The platform integrates with main directories, together with AD, Azure AD, shared LDAP-based listing, and messaging platforms comparable to Microsoft Trade Server and Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace for enterprise functions. The software program is obtainable totally free testing for 30 days. Costs can be found upon request.


Sustaining a safe and managed Energetic Listing is pricey when it comes to prices and hours.

Errors in handbook exercise, comparable to guaranteeing members are granted permission to entry area teams and directories, cleansing up unused accounts, and so on., is a frightening job because the case can compromise safety.

Most significantly, AD and Workplace 365 automation is essential in right this moment’s advanced and geographically distributed infrastructure.

To unravel all these issues and extra, it’s endorsed to make use of the aforementioned software program. An efficient means is to do a trial run and verify the feasibility after which plan to purchase the precise software program in your atmosphere.

You might also have a look at some instruments to watch Energetic Listing.

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