I have been experimenting with SPO for a while now and only recently discovered that the claims format for an authenticated user is like this: "i:0#.f|membership|[email protected]".

On-Premises I know that the "f" denotes that forms authentication is being used and w is used to denote where the source directory is AD.

So, does SPO actually use forms authentication although there obviously exists the concept of Azure AD that we authenticate against?

1 Answer 1


Forms auth is just defined as you are authentication via a form, so technically yes it is forms authentication.

SharePoint Online authentication

  • Thanks Trevor. But why does it state "f" in the encoding whereas we are authenticating against Azure AD. From what I know, Azure was/is a code word for an OS in the cloud (in very simple terms) and AD is Active Directory. Based on this understanding, why is the encoding not saying "w".
    – user90703
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 17:16
  • Azure AD is not Windows nor is it Active Directory (LDAP). AAD doesn't have an LDAP protocol. You may want to read some articles at docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/fundamentals.
    – user6024
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 17:18
  • Thanks Trevor - definitely helpful.
    – user90703
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 17:21
  • I really like your patching script BTW.
    – user90703
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 17:26
  • Is it true MVP is more of an award based on marketing principles rather than technical ones. For example, some one can be technically lesser proficient but if giving lectures, presentations all the time on Hello World kind of PowerApps and Flow (which I have seen on a fair number of conferences such as SPTechCon), they might just get a MVP if nominated and if there are not many in that geographical region? Rob Windsor and that Eric S (cowboy hat) are two such guy who comes to mind. Not talking about you though - you rock.
    – user90703
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 17:32

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