Visual Studio Subscriptions administrator feature updates

Caity Buschlen

Over the past few months, we’ve interviewed a number of our Visual Studio Subscriptions administrators, and had a couple different surveys running in the administration portal to better understand what you like, don’t like, and absolutely hate about the current admin experience (yes the surveys are read by the PM team; it’s not a black hole).


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We’ve heard your feedback about wanting an improved administration experience and have made a few big changes we hope you’ll like! Almost everything shared below can be accessed in the portal, just sign in to get started.



Administration portal changes


New look and functionality

If you haven’t already noticed, there have been changes to the look of the portal, as well as some added functionality. The overview, agreement details, and maximum usage reports now appear on a fly-out panel that can be closed when you’d like to maximize your dashboard view. The maximum usage report now includes graphics to help you easily see the last 12 months. Minimize this panel to see your subscribers’ details and customize which columns are visible to you with the new column picker. This functionality is currently only in the “manage subscribers” tab, with plans to extend to other tabs in the portal soon.


Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Groups

If you’re an admin for an agreement that can over-assign subscriptions, you can add security groups created in Azure AD, and the portal will automatically assign subscriptions for individuals added to those groups. The portal will also remove subscriptions when those users are removed from the Azure AD group. Check out this article or the video below to learn how this feature can save you time and make your subscription assignment process easier.



Microsoft Account to Azure AD connect emails private preview

Do you have subscriptions assigned to a mix of personal and work accounts? Join the connect emails private preview to transition your subscribers from using personal accounts to authenticated work accounts in Azure AD. The new connect emails feature searches your Azure AD to find matches based on your subscribers’ names. This improves governance for your organization—ensuring that subscribers no longer with your company have their access automatically revoked when they are removed from your Azure AD. If you’d like to participate in the limited private preview, please reach out to our preview alias. Learn more in this article or the video below.


Assignment of subscription IDs (GUID)

You now have the ability to choose which subscription IDs to assign to which individuals. This new feature lets you export your subscriptions and see the unique ID (the GUID) and end date for unassigned subscriptions. This allows you to choose a new or partially used subscription, along with a specific end date, and is particularly useful for organizations to assign subscriptions for short term projects (leaving the new subscriptions available for long term projects). Read this article or watch the video below for details about this update.



Additional resources


New administrator handbook

A new digital handbook is available—it includes a brief section on getting started, a comprehensive explanation of subscription benefits, administrator best practices, and a list of resources to help answer questions that come your way. If you add additional administrators to the portal to help you manage subscriptions, you can send them this guide to help them begin. Find this new resource on the administrator webpage or download a copy directly.


Feedback button

Use the feedback button located on the bottom right corner of the admin portal to share what you’d like to see next. We review at least once a week (so again – not a black hole 😊). Share the good, the bad, and the ugly – we want to hear it all as we develop and design new features and improvements to the admin portal.


Subscriptions administration newsletter

We’re working on more exciting features (and maybe something you’ve requested through the feedback tool), so opt-in to the newsletter to receive email updates about the portal, new administrator features, administrator resources, and subscription benefits. Stay up to date by selecting the Visual Studio Subscriptions check box in your Visual Studio profile.


Help your subscribers get the most out of their subscription

By assigning subscriptions in the portal, you give your developers access to tools, cloud services, software and training resources. Visual Studio subscriptions include benefits such as: Azure dev/test individual credits of up to $150 USD, discounted Azure dev/test pricing, M365 developer subscriptions, training with Pluralsight and LinkedIn Learning, and more. Check out the benefits and everything that is included with each subscription.


Thanks for your feedback

We hope that the changes we’ve made are helpful. Please continue to provide feedback in the surveys and using the feedback tool so we can keep making improvements to the Visual Studio subscriptions administration experience.

Caity & the Visual Studio Subscriptions team


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