Tutorial: Configure F5 BIG-IP Easy Button for SSO to Oracle EBS

Learn to secure Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) using Microsoft Entra ID, with F5 BIG-IP Easy Button Guided Configuration. Integrating a BIG-IP with Microsoft Entra ID has many benefits:

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Scenario description

This scenario covers the classic Oracle EBS application that uses HTTP authorization headers to manage access to protected content.

Legacy applications lack modern protocols to support Microsoft Entra integration. Modernization is costly, time consuming, and introduces downtime risk. Instead, use an F5 BIG-IP Application Delivery Controller (ADC) to bridge the gap between legacy applications and the modern ID control plane, with protocol transitioning.

A BIG-IP in front of the app enables overlay of the service with Microsoft Entra preauthentication and header-based SSO. This configuration improves application security posture.

Scenario architecture

The secure hybrid access (SHA) solution has the following components:

  • Oracle EBS application - BIG-IP published service to be protected by Microsoft Entra SHA
  • Microsoft Entra ID - Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) identity provider (IdP) that verifies user credentials, Conditional Access, and SAML-based SSO to the BIG-IP
    • With SSO, Microsoft Entra ID provides BIG-IP session attributes
  • Oracle Internet Directory (OID) - hosts the user database
    • BIG-IP verifies authorization attributes with LDAP
  • Oracle E-Business Suite AccessGate - validates authorization attributes with the OID service, then issues EBS access cookies
  • BIG-IP - reverse-proxy and SAML service provider (SP) to the application
    • Authentication is delegated to the SAML IdP, then header-based SSO to the Oracle application occurs

SHA supports SP- and IdP-initiated flows. The following diagram illustrates the SP-initiated flow.

Diagram of secure hybrid access, based on the SP-initiated flow.

  1. User connects to application endpoint (BIG-IP).
  2. BIG-IP APM access policy redirects user to Microsoft Entra ID (SAML IdP).
  3. Microsoft Entra preauthenticates user and applies Conditional Access policies.
  4. User is redirected to BIG-IP (SAML SP) and SSO occurs using the issued SAML token.
  5. BIG-IP performs an LDAP query for the user Unique ID (UID) attribute.
  6. BIG-IP injects returned UID attribute as user_orclguid header in Oracle EBS session cookie request to Oracle AccessGate.
  7. Oracle AccessGate validates UID against OID service and issues Oracle EBS access cookie.
  8. Oracle EBS user headers and cookie sent to application and returns the payload to the user.


You need the following components:

  • An Azure subscription
  • Global Administrator, Cloud Application Administrator, or Application Administrator.
  • A BIG-IP or deploy a BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE) in Azure
  • Any of the following F5 BIG-IP license SKUs:
    • F5 BIG-IP® Best bundle
    • F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager™ (APM) standalone license
    • F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager™ (APM) add-on license on a BIG-IP F5 BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM)
    • 90-day BIG-IP full feature trial. See, Free Trials.
  • User identities synchronized from an on-premises directory to Microsoft Entra ID
  • An SSL certificate to publish services over HTTPS, or use default certificates while testing
  • An Oracle EBS, Oracle AccessGate, and an LDAP-enabled Oracle Internet Database (OID)

BIG-IP configuration method

This tutorial uses the Guided Configuration v16.1 Easy Button template. With the Easy Button, admins no longer go back and forth to enable services for SHA. The APM Guided Configuration wizard and Microsoft Graph handle deployment and policy management. This integration ensures applications support identity federation, SSO, and Conditional Access, thus reducing administrative overhead.


Replace example strings or values with those in your environment.

Register the Easy Button


Steps in this article may vary slightly based on the portal you start from.

Before a client or service accesses Microsoft Graph, the Microsoft identity platform must trust it.

Learn more: Quickstart: Register an application with the Microsoft identity platform

Create a tenant app registration to authorize the Easy Button access to Graph. The BIG-IP pushes configurations to establish a trust between a SAML SP instance for published application, and Microsoft Entra ID as the SAML IdP.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Entra admin center as at least a Cloud Application Administrator.

  2. Browse to Identity > Applications > App registrations > New registration.

  3. Enter an application Name. For example, F5 BIG-IP Easy Button.

  4. Specify who can use the application > Accounts in this organizational directory only.

  5. Select Register.

  6. Navigate to API permissions.

  7. Authorize the following Microsoft Graph Application permissions:

    • Application.Read.All
    • Application.ReadWrite.All
    • Application.ReadWrite.OwnedBy
    • Directory.Read.All
    • Group.Read.All
    • IdentityRiskyUser.Read.All
    • Policy.Read.All
    • Policy.ReadWrite.ApplicationConfiguration
    • Policy.ReadWrite.ConditionalAccess
    • User.Read.All
  8. Grant admin consent for your organization.

  9. Go to Certificates & Secrets.

  10. Generate a new Client Secret. Make a note of the Client Secret.

  11. Go to Overview. Make a note of the Client ID and Tenant ID.

Configure the Easy Button

  1. Initiate the APM Guided Configuration.

  2. Start the Easy Button template.

  3. Navigate to Access > Guided Configuration > Microsoft Integration.

  4. Select Microsoft Entra Application.

    Screenshot of the Microsoft Entra Application option.

  5. Review the configuration options.

  6. Select Next.

    Screenshot of configuration options and the Next option.

  7. Use the graphic to help publish your application.

    Screenshot of graphic indicating configuration areas.

Configuration Properties

The Configuration Properties tab creates a BIG-IP application config and SSO object. The Azure Service Account Details section represents the client you registered in your Microsoft Entra tenant, as an application. With these settings, a BIG-IP OAuth client registers a SAML SP in your tenant, with SSO properties. Easy Button does this action for BIG-IP services published and enabled for SHA.

To reduce time and effort, reuse global settings to publish other applications.

  1. Enter a Configuration Name.

  2. For Single sign-on (SSO) & HTTP Headers, select On.

  3. For Tenant ID, Client ID, and Client Secret enter what you noted during Easy Button client registration.

  4. Confirm the BIG-IP connects to your tenant.

  5. Select Next.

    Screenshot of input on the Configuration Properties dialog.

Service Provider

Use Service Provider settings for the properties of the SAML SP instance of the protected application.

  1. For Host, enter the public FQDN of the application.

  2. For Entity ID, enter the identifier Microsoft Entra ID uses for the SAML SP requesting a token.

    Screenshot for Service Provider input and options.

  3. (Optional) In Security Settings, select or clear the Enable Encrypted Assertion option. Encrypting assertions between Microsoft Entra ID and the BIG-IP APM means the content tokens can't be intercepted, nor personal or corporate data compromised.

  4. From the Assertion Decryption Private Key list, select Create New

    Screenshot of Create New options in the Assertion Decryption Private Key dropdown.

  5. Select OK.

  6. The Import SSL Certificate and Keys dialog appears in a new tab.

  7. Select PKCS 12 (IIS).

  8. The certificate and private key are imported.

  9. Close the browser tab to return to the main tab.

    Screenshot of input for Import Type, Certificate and Key Name, and Password.

  10. Select Enable Encrypted Assertion.

  11. For enabled encryption, from the Assertion Decryption Private Key list, select the certificate private key BIG-IP APM uses to decrypt Microsoft Entra assertions.

  12. For enabled encryption,from the Assertion Decryption Certificate list, select the certificate BIG-IP uploads to Microsoft Entra ID to encrypt the issued SAML assertions.

    Screenshot of selected certificates for Assertion Decryption Private Key and Assertion Decryption Certificate.

Microsoft Entra ID

Easy Button has application templates for Oracle PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle JD Edwards, SAP ERP and a generic SHA template. The following screenshot is the Oracle E-Business Suite option under Azure Configuration.

  1. Select Oracle E-Business Suite.

  2. Select Add.

    Screenshot of the Oracle E-Business Suite option under Azure Configuration.

Azure Configuration

  1. Enter a Display Name for the app BIG-IP creates in your Microsoft Entra tenant, and the icon on MyApps.

  2. In Sign On URL (optional), enter the EBS application public FQDN.

  3. Enter the default path for the Oracle EBS homepage.

    Screenshot for Azure configuration add display info

  4. Next to the Signing Key and Signing Certificate, select the refresh icon.

  5. Locate the certificate you imported.

  6. In Signing Key Passphrase, enter the certificate password.

  7. (Optional) Enable Signing Option. This option ensures BIG-IP accepts tokens and claims signed by Microsoft Entra ID.

    Screenshot of options and entries for Signing Key, Signing Certificate, and Signing Key Passphrase.

  8. For User And User Groups, add a user or group for testing, otherwise all access is denied. Users and user groups are dynamically queried from the Microsoft Entra tenant and authorize access to the application.

    Screenshot of the Add option under User And User Groups.

User Attributes & Claims

When a user authenticates, Microsoft Entra ID issues a SAML token with default claims and attributes identifying the user. The User Attributes & Claims tab has default claims to issue for the new application. Use this area to configure more claims. If needed, add Microsoft Entra attributes, however the Oracle EBS scenario requires the default attributes.

Screenshot of options and entries for User Attributes and Claims.

Additional User Attributes

The Additional User Attributes tab supports distributed systems that require attributes stored in directories for session augmentation. Attributes fetched from an LDAP source are injected as more SSO headers to control access based on roles, partner ID, etc.

  1. Enable the Advanced Settings option.

  2. Check the LDAP Attributes check box.

  3. In Choose Authentication Server, select Create New.

  4. Depending on your setup, select Use pool or Direct server connection mode for the target LDAP service server address. For a single LDAP server, select Direct.

  5. For Service Port, enter 3060 (Default), 3161 (Secure), or another port for the Oracle LDAP service.

  6. Enter a Base Search DN. Use the distinguished name (DN) to search for groups in a directory.

  7. For Admin DN, enter the account distinguished name APM uses to authenticate LDAP queries.

  8. For Admin Password, enter the password.

    Screenshot of options and entries for Additional User Attributes.

  9. Leave the default LDAP Schema Attributes.

    Screenshot for LDAP schema attributes

  10. Under LDAP Query Properties, for Search Dn enter the LDAP server base node for user object search.

  11. For Required Attributes, enter the user object attribute name to be returned from the LDAP directory. For EBS, the default is orclguid.

    Screenshot of entries and options for LDAP Query Properties

Conditional Access Policy

Conditional Access policies control access based on device, application, location, and risk signals. Policies are enforced after Microsoft Entra preauthentication. The Available Policies view has Conditional Access policies with no user actions. The Selected Policies view has policies for cloud apps. You can't deselect these policies or move them to Available Policies because they're enforced at the tenant level.

To select a policy for the application to be published:

  1. In Available Policies, select a policy.

  2. Select the right arrow.

  3. Move the policy to Selected Policies.


    The Include or Exclude option is selected for some policies. If both options are checked, the policy is unenforced.

    Screenshot of the Exclude option selected for four polices.


    Select the Conditional Access Policy tab and the policy list appears. Select Refresh and the wizard queries your tenant. Refresh appears for deployed applications.

Virtual Server Properties

A virtual server is a BIG-IP data plane object represented by a virtual IP address listening for application client requests. Received traffic is processed and evaluated against the APM profile associated with the virtual server. Then, traffic is directed according to policy.

  1. Enter a Destination Address, an IPv4 or IPv6 address BIG-IP uses to receive client traffic. Ensure a corresponding record in DNS that enables clients to resolve the external URL, of the BIG-IP published application, to the IP. Use a test computer localhost DNS for testing.

  2. For Service Port, enter 443, and select HTTPS.

  3. Select Enable Redirect Port.

  4. For Redirect Port, enter 80, and select HTTP. This action redirects incoming HTTP client traffic to HTTPS.

  5. Select the Client SSL Profile you created, or leave the default for testing. Client SSL Profile enables the virtual server for HTTPS. Client connections are encrypted over TLS.

    Screenshot of options and selections for Virtual Server Properties.

Pool Properties

The Application Pool tab has services behind a BIG-IP, a pool with one or more application servers.

  1. From Select a Pool, select Create New, or select another option.

  2. For Load Balancing Method, select Round Robin.

  3. Under Pool Servers, select and enter an IP Address/Node Name and Port for the servers hosting Oracle EBS.

  4. Select HTTPS.

    Screenshot of options and selections for Pool Properties

  5. Under Access Gate Pool confirm the Access Gate Subpath.

  6. For Pool Servers select and enter an IP Address/Node Name and Port for the servers hosting Oracle EBS.

  7. Select HTTPS.

    Screenshot of options and entries for Access Gate Pool.

Single Sign-On & HTTP Headers

The Easy Button wizard supports Kerberos, OAuth Bearer, and HTTP authorization headers for SSO to published applications. The Oracle EBS application expects headers, therefore enable HTTP headers.

  1. On Single Sign-On & HTTP Headers, select HTTP Headers.

  2. For Header Operation, select replace.

  3. For Header Name, enter USER_NAME.

  4. For Header Value, enter %{session.sso.token.last.username}.

  5. For Header Operation, select replace.

  6. For Header Name, enter USER_ORCLGUID.

  7. For Header Value, enter %{session.ldap.last.attr.orclguid}.

    Screenshot of entries and selections for Header Operation, Header Name, and Header Value.


    APM session variables in curly brackets are case-sensitive.

Session Management

Use BIG-IP Session Management to define conditions for user session termination or continuation.

To learn more, go to support.f5.com for K18390492: Security | BIG-IP APM operations guide

Single Log-Out (SLO) functionality ensures sessions between the IdP, BIG-IP, and the user agent, terminate when users sign out. When the Easy Button instantiates a SAML application in your Microsoft Entra tenant, it populates the Logout URL with the APM SLO endpoint. Thus, IdP-initiated sign out, from the My Apps portal, terminates the session between the BIG-IP and a client.

See, Microsoft My Apps

The SAML federation metadata for the published application is imported from the tenant. This action provides the APM with the SAML sign out endpoint for Microsoft Entra ID. Then, SP-initiated sign out terminates the client and Microsoft Entra session. Ensure the APM knows when a user signs out.

If you use the BIG-IP webtop portal to access published applications, APM processes a sign out to call the Microsoft Entra sign-out endpoint. If you don't use the BIG-IP webtop portal, the user can't instruct the APM to sign out. If the user signs out of the application, the BIG-IP is oblivious to the action. Ensure SP-initiated sign out triggers secure sessions termination. Add an SLO function to the applications Sign out button to redirect the client to the Microsoft Entra SAML or BIG-IP sign out endpoint. Find the SAML sign out endpoint URL for your tenant in App Registrations > Endpoints.

If you can't change the app, have the BIG-IP listen for the application sign out call and then trigger SLO.

Learn more:


  1. Select Deploy to commit settings.
  2. Verify the application appears in the tenant Enterprise applications list.


  1. From a browser, connect to the Oracle EBS application external URL, or select the application icon in the My Apps.
  2. Authenticate to Microsoft Entra ID.
  3. You're redirected to the BIG-IP virtual server for the application and signed in by SSO.

For increased security, block direct application access, thereby enforcing a path through the BIG-IP.

Advanced deployment

Sometimes, the Guided Configuration templates lack flexibility for requirements.

Learn more: Tutorial: Configure F5 BIG-IP's Access Policy Manager for header-based SSO.

Manually change configurations

Alternatively, in BIG-IP disable the Guided Configuration strict management mode to manually change configurations. Wizard templates automate most configurations.

  1. Navigate to Access > Guided Configuration.

  2. On the right end of the row for your application configuration, select the padlock icon.

    Screenshot of the padlock icon

After you disable strict mode, you can't make changes with the wizard. However, BIG-IP objects associated with the published app instance are unlocked for management.


If you re-enable strict mode, new configurations overwrite settings performed without the Guided Configuration. We recommend the advanced configuration method for production services.


Use the following instructions to help troubleshoot issues.

Increase log verbosity

Use BIG-IP logging to isolate issues with connectivity, SSO, policy violations, or misconfigured variable mappings. Increase the log verbosity level.

  1. Navigate to Access Policy > Overview > Event Logs.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select the row for your published application.
  4. Select Edit > Access System Logs.
  5. From the SSO list, select Debug.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Reproduce the issue.
  8. Inspect the logs.

Revert the settings changes because verbose mode generates excessive data.

BIG-IP error message

If a BIG-IP error appears after Microsoft Entra preauthentication, the issue might relate to Microsoft Entra ID and BIG-IP SSO.

  1. Navigate to **Access > Overview.
  2. Select Access reports.
  3. Run the report for the last hour.
  4. Review the logs for clues.

Use the View session link for your session to confirm the APM receives expected Microsoft Entra claims.

No BIG-IP error message

If no BIG-IP error page appears, the issue might relate to the back-end request, or BIG-IP and application SSO.

  1. Navigate to Access Policy > Overview.
  2. Select Active Sessions.
  3. Select the link for your active session.

Use the View Variables link to investigate SSO issues, particularly if the BIG-IP APM doesn't obtain correct attributes from Microsoft Entra ID, or another source.

Learn more:

Validate the APM service account

Use the following bash shell command to validate the APM service account for LDAP queries. The command authenticates and queries user objects.

ldapsearch -xLLL -H 'ldap://' -b "CN=oraclef5,dc=contoso,dc=lds" -s sub -D "CN=f5-apm,CN=partners,DC=contoso,DC=lds" -w 'P@55w0rd!' "(cn=testuser)"

Learn more: