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SaaS App Integration for Single Sign-on

Single sign-on is an authentication method that allows users to sign-in to multiple independent software systems using one set of credentials. Azure AD facilitates this through federated SSO, where the user first signs into Azure AD, and then they are seamlessly signed into the target SaaS application. SaaS application integration in Azure AD is performed by adding the application as an Enterprise App, either manually, or through the Application Gallery which contains thousands of 3rd party applications that can be added and configured with Azure AD via a few simple steps.

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There are many thorough tutorials on how to integrate SaaS applications with Azure AD, but all of them require a subscription for each SaaS application which can complicate getting things setup and maintained. The notable exceptions are ServiceNow and AWS, where you can setup and create free subscriptions to each service and then wire those up to your tenant. For this lab however I’m going to provide guidance on setting up SSO using a simple service called Claims X-Ray from the website. This site was created to assist in debugging and troubleshooting problems with claims issuance with AD FS. The app allows you to view the output of the claims emitted in the token for the user and will simulate the SSO experience.

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After adding the test application “Claims X-Ray” to your tenant via the Application Gallery, your Azure AD users will be able to SSO to this application using the MyApps portal, and you will be able to view the detailed claims contained in the token that was issued by Azure AD.

Step 1. Add the Azure AD SAML Toolkit application to your tenant

  1. Sign-in to the Azure AD portal

  2. Browse to Azure Active Directory > Enterprise Applications > All applications

  3. Click the + New application link at the top of the page.

  4. On the next screen search choose the + Create your own application

  5. In the right-hand Create your own application flyout pane, call your app “Claims X-Ray” and select the radio button Integrate any other application you don't find in the gallery (Non-gallery). Click the Create** button at the bottom of the page to add the app to your tenant.

  1. The app will be created and you will be taken to the new apps configuration page.

  2. Under the Manage section in the left menu for the new app, select Single sign-on to open the Single sign-on pane for editing.

  3. Under Select a Single Sign-On Method select the SAML tile** to open the SSO configuration page.

  4. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page you will need to edit the 2 required fields in the Basic SAML Configuration tile.

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  1. In the Identifier (Entity ID) text box, click Add Identifier and then type ClaimsXRay

  2. In the Reply URL text box, click Add Reply URL and then type

  3. Leave Sign on URL, Relay State and Logout URL blank

  4. Click Save.

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Step 2. Assign a user to the app.

  1. Whilst still in the properties of the new Claims X-Ray app in the portal.

  2. In the left-hand pane under the Manage section, select Users and groups.

  3. Select Add user, then select Users and groups in the Add Assignment dialog.

  4. In the Users and groups dialog, select either a user or a group that you would like to use to grant access to the application and then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.

  5. Under Select a role leave it as "User"

  6. Click the Assign button.

Step 3. Test single sign-on to the app.

  1. Open a new In-Private Edge session and brows to and login as the user you just assigned to the Claims X-Ray app in Step 2.

  2. In the MyApps portal you should see the new Claims X-Ray app, click on it to initiate the SSO experience.

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  1. This will redirect you to where you can see the token claims that Azure AD emitted for the user.

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Step 4. Add a new claim to issue

Azure AD allows you to customise the claims that can be included in the token that is used by SaaS applications. In this lab we will configure a new group claim which will include the user’s group membership in the token. We will view the output of this new claim via the Claims X-Ray app.

  1. In the Azure AD portal

  2. Browse to Azure Active Directory > Enterprise Applications > All applications

  3. Find the Claims X-Ray you just added and click on it.

  4. Under the Manage section in the left menu, select Single sign-on to open the Single sign-on pane for editing.

  5. Click on the edit button in the Attributes & Claims tile.

  6. Click the + Add a group claim button at the top

  7. In the right-hand pane that opened select All Groups radio button

  8. In the Source attribute drop down list leave it on Group ID and click Save.**

Note: You will need to ensure that your test user is a member of at least one group for this to work. If they are not a member of any groups then go to the Azure Active Directory > Groups blade and add them to a group.

Step 5. Testing the group claim

  1. Open a new In-Private Edge session and browse to and login as the user you are testing with (that is a member of a group).

  2. In the MyApps portal click on the Claims X-Ray app to SSO to the app.

  3. In the Token Claims output at you should now see the Groups included in the token.