AWDS was introduced to allow Active Directory to communicate with external web applications. It’s hard to believe that Active Directory lacked this ability until 2008 (but its appearance amplified the usefulness of the platform by allowing it to be used for a range of purposes).
With AWDS, applications could use Active Directory to authenticate users. It was also useful for managing users. And, critically, on-premise SSO gained a directory service. Take this simple interface away today and Active Directory collapses in a heap of irrelevance.
Read more: 4 Key Advantages of Single Sign-On Using Windows Active Directory Domain Accounts