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Active Directory or Workgroups

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Active Directory or Workgroups, when do you use what?

Although we recommend using Active Directory (or Azure AD) to manage access to software installations in your network, you can of course also use workgroups. However, that is less common and often only applies to smaller environments.
Below we explain the options for clarity.


You use Active Directory when:

You want centralized management of IT resources in your network
Your Active Directory already used
All computers have a Microsoft Windows operating system


You use a workgroup when:

You have no centralized IT resources (and you don’t want to)
You only have a handful of computers to manage

Easy Software Deployment supports both Active Directory and Workgroups, so the choice is yours.
But if you decide to use Workgroups, pay attention to the following:

  1. All user accounts and passwords are decentralized. That is, each computer can have different user accounts and passwords for the same person, and must be exactly the same on all computers. If you do not adhere to this, you may encounter connection problems.
  2. Guest accounts must be active at all times (Windows XP and higher).
  3. Easy sharing must be turned off.
  4. UAC must be disabled via local policy and the control panel to gain access to drives on other computers. The use of the Windows Store is not possible if the UAC is switched off (Windows 8.1 and higher).
  5. In addition to workgroups, you can also set up home groups that are equivalent to workgroups for private or home use, read more about it here.

So, when it comes to Active Directory or Workgroups, we prefer the first.

Of course, we take Azure AD as an equal option. Since Easy Software Deployment version 7.0, Azure AD has also become an option. Since that release, Easy Software Deployment has become a SaaS solution.


Easy Software Deployment is a product of Provolve IT.

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