With Jira Software, the licensing model is based on the number of users. A user with permission to log into Jira or Confluence counts against the number of user licenses. In addition to that, any number of anonymous users are possible, for example for public content.
Yes, directories with an LDAP interface such as Microsoft Active Directory can be easily integrated and used. The prerequisite for this is that the Jira/Confluence instance can reach the directory in question via network. Since these directories are typically not accessible from the Internet, the selection of our VPN option is usually a prerequisite.
If you are already using ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services), Azure AD or Google G-Suite logins, then these can be used directly for authentication and authorization with a paid add-on for Jira/Confluence. No VPN is required.
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Yes, if the applications are running on-premise, you can integrate them using the VPN option. This allows access from your applications to Jira, for example, as well as access from Jira to your applications. Examples are the integration of time tracking with SAP or the integration of Jira Service Management with CRM.