Visual Studio subscriptions in a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA)
If you've purchased Visual Studio Subscriptions through the MPSA program, there are a few things to be aware of before you can become a Visual Studio subscriptions admin and assign subscriptions to your users. If you've already been set up as an admin, you can go directly to the Visual Studio subscriptions Administration Portal.
MPSA customers manage assets purchased through MPSA in a portal called the Business Center (Similar to how the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is used to manage volume licensing assets). In the Business Center, MPSA customers can view their License Summary, Orders, Downloads, Keys, Users, etc. However, there are some key differences between VLSC and MPSA subscriptions. The Business Center uses work accounts to sign in, instead of Microsoft Accounts (MSA). If you access services like Azure Active Directory or Office 365, your email is already a work account. You can register for access to Business Center with your business email and password combination, like other cloud services - If your organization isn't using cloud services and your email isn't a work account, you may use a different email to register for access to the Business Center and create a password at the time of registration.
The Visual Studio subscriptions Administration Portal is where you'll assign subscriptions after you become a Visual Studio subscriptions admin. Visual Studio subscriptions purchased through MPSA must be provisioned in the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administration Portal by an admin. To do that, your Purchasing Account must be associated with a tenant (example: contoso.onmicrosoft.com).
There are two types of tenants - managed tenants and unmanaged tenants. A managed tenant refers to a tenant that is already managed by admins within the organization.
An unmanaged tenant doesn't have admins assigned and isn't usable for Online Services such as Office 365. Unmanaged tenants are created when registering to the Business Center with an email that isn't a work account. If you were prompted to create a password when you registered for Business Center access, the email you used wasn't a work account. This condition is how an unmanaged tenant can be created.
Prerequisites to become a Visual Studio Subscriptions administrator
Follow these steps to set up a managed tenant:
The Purchasing Account must be associated with your company domain/tenant. The association is performed in the Business Center Portal. To associate your account, you must
- Be a registered user in the Business Center Portal with an Account Administrator or Account Manager role
- Be a Global Administrator (Company Administrator) or a Billing Administrator in the tenant to which you'd like to link your Purchasing Account.
After you've ensured you have these roles assigned to the same work account, follow the below steps to perform the association:
- Sign in to Business Center.
- Select the Account tab and choose Associate Domains.
- Select your Purchasing Account (if you have more than one).
- Select your tenant (example: contoso.onmicrosoft.com).
- Select Associate Domain.
For a more detailed explanation of this process, use the Quick Start guides. Download the guide named "Set up and Use Your Online Services".
If you're experiencing issues with the domain association or would like more guidance, Business Center support can assist.
After the Purchasing Account has been associated with your domain, you must be a User Admin (at minimum) or Global Admin within the tenant that you’re part of to administer Visual Studio subscriptions on the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administration Portal. Ensure that the “Country or Region” and “Postal code” fields within your Azure user profile are populated appropriately depending on your region (such as: US, CA, etc.). After the domain association, if you have the correct permissions listed above you'll be able to access the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administration Portal within 24 hours. If you don't have access after 24 hours, contact Business Center support.
Granting BCP users permissions to view licenses, including Visual Studio Subscription licenses, in Business Center, is completely separate from granting users permissions on the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administration portal.
Similarly, having Administrator permissions on the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administrator portal doesn't mean that the VSS Admin can view the licenses in Business Center.
If you registered to the Business Center with an email that wasn't a work account (not registered in the Azure Active Directory “Azure AD”), as explained previously, the tenant association will be slightly different. You'll need to perform what’s called a "domain take-over". During this process, you'll make yourself the Global Administrator (Company Administrator) which will change your tenant from "unmanaged" to "managed."
For a more detailed explanation for this process, you may use the Quick Start guides. Download the guide named "Setup and Use Your Online Services" that will guide you through a domain take-over (pg. 7-8).
After you've completed the domain take-over process, you must adhere to the two criteria from section “Managed Tenant” to administer Visual Studio subscriptions on the Visual Studio Subscriptions Administration Portal. In you encounter problems, contact Business Center support.
For assistance with administration of Visual Studio Subscriptions, contact Visual Studio subscriptions support.
- Visual Studio documentation
- Azure DevOps documentation
- Azure documentation
- Microsoft 365 documentation
Learn more about managing Visual Studio subscriptions.
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