Tutorial: Azure Active Directory single sign-on (SSO) integration with Apex Portal
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Apex Portal with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). When you integrate Apex Portal with Azure AD, you can:
- Control in Azure AD who has access to Apex Portal.
- Enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Apex Portal with their Azure AD accounts.
- Manage your accounts in one central location - the Azure portal.
To get started, you need the following items:
- An Azure AD subscription. If you don't have a subscription, you can get a free account.
- Apex Portal single sign-on (SSO) enabled subscription.
In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD SSO in a test environment.
- Apex Portal supports IDP initiated SSO.
- Apex Portal supports Just In Time user provisioning.
Add Apex Portal from the gallery
To configure the integration of Apex Portal into Azure AD, you need to add Apex Portal from the gallery to your list of managed SaaS apps.
- Sign in to the Azure portal using either a work or school account, or a personal Microsoft account.
- On the left navigation pane, select the Azure Active Directory service.
- Navigate to Enterprise Applications and then select All Applications.
- To add new application, select New application.
- In the Add from the gallery section, type Apex Portal in the search box.
- Select Apex Portal from results panel and then add the app. Wait a few seconds while the app is added to your tenant.
Alternatively, you can also use the Enterprise App Configuration Wizard. In this wizard, you can add an application to your tenant, add users/groups to the app, assign roles, as well as walk through the SSO configuration as well. Learn more about Microsoft 365 wizards.
Configure and test Azure AD SSO for Apex Portal
Configure and test Azure AD SSO with Apex Portal using a test user called B.Simon. For SSO to work, you need to establish a link relationship between an Azure AD user and the related user in Apex Portal.
To configure and test Azure AD SSO with Apex Portal, perform the following steps:
- Configure Azure AD SSO - to enable your users to use this feature.
- Create an Azure AD test user - to test Azure AD single sign-on with B.Simon.
- Assign the Azure AD test user - to enable B.Simon to use Azure AD single sign-on.
- Configure Apex Portal SSO - to configure the single sign-on settings on application side.
- Create Apex Portal test user - to have a counterpart of B.Simon in Apex Portal that is linked to the Azure AD representation of user.
- Test SSO - to verify whether the configuration works.
Configure Azure AD SSO
Follow these steps to enable Azure AD SSO in the Azure portal.
In the Azure portal, on the Apex Portal application integration page, find the Manage section and select single sign-on.
On the Select a single sign-on method page, select SAML.
On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, click the pencil icon for Basic SAML Configuration to edit the settings.
On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, enter the values for the following fields:
a. In the Identifier text box, type a URL using the following pattern:
b. In the Reply URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern:
These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Identifier and Reply URL. Contact Apex Portal Client support team to get these values. You can also refer to the patterns shown in the Basic SAML Configuration section in the Azure portal.
Apex Portal application expects the SAML assertions in a specific format, which requires you to add custom attribute mappings to your SAML token attributes configuration. The following screenshot shows the list of default attributes.
In addition to above, Apex Portal application expects few more attributes to be passed back in SAML response which are shown below. These attributes are also pre populated but you can review them as per your requirements.
Name Source Attribute FIRSTNAME user.givenname LASTNAME user.surname user.mail
On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, in the SAML Signing Certificate section, find Federation Metadata XML and select Download to download the certificate and save it on your computer.
On the Set up Apex Portal section, copy the appropriate URL(s) based on your requirement.
Create an Azure AD test user
In this section, you'll create a test user in the Azure portal called B.Simon.
- From the left pane in the Azure portal, select Azure Active Directory, select Users, and then select All users.
- Select New user at the top of the screen.
- In the User properties, follow these steps:
- In the Name field, enter
- In the User name field, enter the email@example.com. For example,
- Select the Show password check box, and then write down the value that's displayed in the Password box.
- Click Create.
- In the Name field, enter
Assign the Azure AD test user
In this section, you'll enable B.Simon to use Azure single sign-on by granting access to Apex Portal.
- In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, and then select All applications.
- In the applications list, select Apex Portal.
- In the app's overview page, find the Manage section and select Users and groups.
- Select Add user, then select Users and groups in the Add Assignment dialog.
- In the Users and groups dialog, select B.Simon from the Users list, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.
- If you are expecting a role to be assigned to the users, you can select it from the Select a role dropdown. If no role has been set up for this app, you see "Default Access" role selected.
- In the Add Assignment dialog, click the Assign button.
Configure Apex Portal SSO
To configure single sign-on on Apex Portal side, you need to send the downloaded Federation Metadata XML and appropriate copied URLs from Azure portal to Apex Portal support team. They set this setting to have the SAML SSO connection set properly on both sides.
Create Apex Portal test user
In this section, a user called Britta Simon is created in Apex Portal. Apex Portal supports just-in-time user provisioning, which is enabled by default. There is no action item for you in this section. If a user doesn't already exist in Apex Portal, a new one is created after authentication.
If you need to create a user manually, you need to contact the Apex Portal support team.
In this section, you test your Azure AD single sign-on configuration with following options.
Click on Test this application in Azure portal and you should be automatically signed in to the Apex Portal for which you set up the SSO.
You can use Microsoft My Apps. When you click the Apex Portal tile in the My Apps, you should be automatically signed in to the Apex Portal for which you set up the SSO. For more information about the My Apps, see Introduction to the My Apps.
Once you configure Apex Portal you can enforce session control, which protects exfiltration and infiltration of your organization’s sensitive data in real time. Session control extends from Conditional Access. Learn how to enforce session control with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps.
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