Authenticating Business Central Users with Microsoft Entra ID


Azure Active Directory is now Microsoft Entra ID. Learn more

Microsoft Entra ID is a cloud service that provides identity and access capabilities for applications. The applications can be cloud-based, like on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, and installed on-premises, like Business Central.

The article describes the tasks involved in setting up Microsoft Entra authentication for authenticating Business Central users.

Microsoft Entra ID and Business Central

With Microsoft Entra authentication, you store user accounts and credentials in a Microsoft Entra tenant. You then associate Business Central user accounts with the Microsoft Entra tenant user account. Once in place, users access Business Central by using their Microsoft Entra account.

Microsoft Entra authentication enables Business Central to integrate with various applications and services, through a single sign-on experience. It's the required authentication method for some features offered by Business Central, such as:

  • Excel add-in
  • Excel financial reports
  • Outlook add-in
  • Cover sheets for contact management
  • Power BI reports and charts
  • Power Automate Management
  • Service-to-Service authentication with Automation APIs

Moving from WS-Federation to OpenID Connect

APPLIES TO: Business Central 2022 release wave 1 and later

In 2022 release wave 1 (version 20), Business Central introduced support for OpenID Connect (OIDC) protocol for Microsoft Entra authentication. In previous releases, Microsoft Entra authentication in Business Central used WS-Federation (Web Services Federation Language) only. OpenID Connect is a modern protocol that's built on OAuth 2.0 and has a standard authentication library. For more information about OpenID Connect, see Microsoft identity platform and OpenID Connect protocol.

With the introduction of OpenID Connect, WS-Federation support in Business Central has been deprecated. It's removed in 2023 release wave 1 (version 22) and later versions. If you're using version 20 or 21, you can continue to use Microsoft Entra authentication with WS-Federation, but we recommend using OpenID Connect.

For the complete setup of Microsoft Entra ID with OpenID Connect, see Configure Microsoft Entra authentication with OpenID Connect.


Business Central version 19 and earlier versions still only support WS-Federation. If you're setting up one of these version, see Configure Microsoft Entra authentication with WS-Federation.

Switch a version 20 or 21 configuration from WS-Federation to OpenID Connect

The complete setup for OpenID Connect isn't much different than it is for WS-Federation. The following steps outline the modifications you have to make to an existing version 20 or 21 deployment to go from WS-Federation to OpenID connect.

  1. In Microsoft Entra ID, enable ID tokens on the registered application for Business Central authentication. You do this change from the Azure portal.

  2. In Business Central:

    1. Configure the Business Central Server instance to include the ValidAudiences parameter set to the application ID assigned to the registered application in Microsoft Entra ID.

      Set-NAVServerConfiguration -ServerInstance <BC server instance name>  -KeyName ValidAudiences -KeyValue "<application ID>"
    2. Configure the Business Central Web Server to include the AadApplicationId and AadAuthorityUri parameters. Set AadApplicationId to the application ID assigned to the registered application in Microsoft Entra ID. Set AadAuthorityUri to "<Azure_AD_Tenant_ID>.

      Set-NAVWebServerInstanceConfiguration -KeyName AadApplicationId -KeyValue "<Azure_AD_Application_ID>"
      Set-NAVWebServerInstanceConfiguration -KeyName AadAuthorityUri -KeyValue "<Azure_AD_Tenant_ID>"

For the complete setup with more details, see Configure Microsoft Entra authentication with OpenID Connect.

Configure legacy WS-Federation in version 20 and 21

If you want to set up Microsoft Entra authentication use WS-Federation in version 20 or 21, you can, The full setup is the same as in earlier versions, except the Business Central Web Server now includes a setting named UseLegacyAcsAuthentication that you set to true.

For example, using the Business Central Administration Shell, you run the following command:

Set-NAVWebServerInstanceConfiguration -KeyName UseLegacyAcsAuthentication -KeyValue "true"

For the complete setup, see Configure Microsoft Entra authentication with WS-Federation.

See Also

Authentication and Credential Types
Troubleshooting: SAML2 token errors with Microsoft Entra ID/Office 365 Authentication
Migrating to Multitenancy