I work with Microsoft Azure all day every day, I'm used to using the many different URLs which are available to us as users of the platform. When I speak to customers one of the biggest bit of feedback I get is which portal to use when and what do they do? I thought a nice first post on the blog would help explain this.

User Portals

First of all lets look at the user portals which are available in Microsoft Azure, depending on which version of Azure you are working with will depend which portal you need.

Classic Portal - manage.windowsazure.com

Microsoft Azure Classic Portal

The first portal is the classic portal, known internally as Reddog. This is the classic Azure portal which is based on the Azure Service Management or ASM APIs, they use a different set of technologies to the portal you will have mostly seen these days. For resources which have not been migrated to the new Azure Resource Manager or ARM based resources then you will still access, create and manage those resources through this portal.

ARM Portal - portal.azure.com

Microsoft Azure ARM Portal

The next portal is the Azure Resource Manager or ARM portal, this uses a new set of APIs with a whole host of advantages over the ASM model (this will be another blog post). The ARM based portal is much slicker, better on more devices including tablets and mobiles. You are also able to customise the layout of the portal and the colour scheme.

Backend Portals

That wraps up the user based portals, where the "doing" is done. Next let's have a look at the account and administration portals which are available.

Account Center - account.windowsazure.com

Microsoft Azure Account Center Front Screen

When hitting the address above you have a number of options, you can get to the ARM portal from this page as well, but for this section we are interested in the middle link which will take you to the Account Center. The account center is used for administration of subscriptions. Here you can do everything from manage contact and billing information to renaming of subscriptions, view your marketplace purchases, edit your profile and tax profile as well as optin to preview features which are available.

EA Portal - ea.azure.com

Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreement Portal

Specifically for enterprise customers, the EA portal is designed to allow administrators to manage their entitlements. The portal works in a Department, Account and Subscription model where spending limits can be applied and multiple subscriptions created per agreement.