Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with Brightspace by Desire2Learn

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Brightspace by Desire2Learn with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). When you integrate Brightspace by Desire2Learn with Azure AD, you can:

  • Control in Azure AD who has access to Brightspace by Desire2Learn.
  • Enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Brightspace by Desire2Learn with their Azure AD accounts.
  • Manage your accounts in one central location - the Azure portal.

Prerequisites

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.
  • Brightspace by Desire2Learn single sign-on enabled subscription.

Note

This integration is also available to use from Azure AD US Government Cloud environment. You can find this application in the Azure AD US Government Cloud Application Gallery and configure it in the same way as you do from public cloud.

Scenario description

In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD single sign-on in a test environment.

  • Brightspace by Desire2Learn supports IDP initiated SSO.

To configure the integration of Brightspace by Desire2Learn into Azure AD, you need to add Brightspace by Desire2Learn from the gallery to your list of managed SaaS apps.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal using either a work or school account, or a personal Microsoft account.
  2. On the left navigation pane, select the Azure Active Directory service.
  3. Navigate to Enterprise Applications and then select All Applications.
  4. To add new application, select New application.
  5. In the Add from the gallery section, type Brightspace by Desire2Learn in the search box.
  6. Select Brightspace by Desire2Learn 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 Brightspace by Desire2Learn

Configure and test Azure AD SSO with Brightspace by Desire2Learn 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 Brightspace by Desire2Learn.

To configure and test Azure AD SSO with Brightspace by Desire2Learn, perform the following steps:

  1. Configure Azure AD SSO - to enable your users to use this feature.
    1. Create an Azure AD test user - to test Azure AD single sign-on with B.Simon.
    2. Assign the Azure AD test user - to enable B.Simon to use Azure AD single sign-on.
  2. Configure Brightspace by Desire2Learn SSO - to configure the single sign-on settings on application side.
    1. Create Brightspace by Desire2Learn test user - to have a counterpart of B.Simon in Brightspace by Desire2Learn that is linked to the Azure AD representation of user.
  3. Test SSO - to verify whether the configuration works.

Configure Azure AD SSO

Follow these steps to enable Azure AD SSO in the Azure portal.

  1. In the Azure portal, on the Brightspace by Desire2Learn application integration page, find the Manage section and select single sign-on.

  2. On the Select a single sign-on method page, select SAML.

  3. On the Set up single sign-on with SAML page, click the pencil icon for Basic SAML Configuration to edit the settings.

    Edit Basic SAML Configuration

  4. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, perform the following steps:

    a. In the Identifier text box, type one of the URL using the following patterns:

    https://<companyname>.tenants.brightspace.com/samlLogin
    https://<companyname>.desire2learn.com/shibboleth-sp
    

    b. In the Reply URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern: https://<companyname>.desire2learn.com/d2l/lp/auth/login/samlLogin.d2l

    Note

    These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Identifier and Reply URL. Contact Brightspace by Desire2Learn 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.

  5. On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, in the SAML Signing Certificate section, click Download to download the Federation Metadata XML from the given options as per your requirement and save it on your computer.

    The Certificate download link

  6. On the Set up Brightspace by Desire2Learn section, copy the appropriate URL(s) as per your requirement.

    Copy configuration URLs

Create an Azure AD test user

In this section, you'll create a test user in the Azure portal called B.Simon.

  1. From the left pane in the Azure portal, select Azure Active Directory, select Users, and then select All users.
  2. Select New user at the top of the screen.
  3. In the User properties, follow these steps:
    1. In the Name field, enter B.Simon.
    2. In the User name field, enter the username@companydomain.extension. For example, B.Simon@contoso.com.
    3. Select the Show password check box, and then write down the value that's displayed in the Password box.
    4. Click Create.

Assign the Azure AD test user

In this section, you'll enable B.Simon to use Azure single sign-on by granting access to Brightspace by Desire2Learn.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, and then select All applications.
  2. In the applications list, select Brightspace by Desire2Learn.
  3. In the app's overview page, find the Manage section and select Users and groups.
  4. Select Add user, then select Users and groups in the Add Assignment dialog.
  5. In the Users and groups dialog, select B.Simon from the Users list, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.
  6. 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.
  7. In the Add Assignment dialog, click the Assign button.

Configure Brightspace by Desire2Learn SSO

To configure single sign-on on Brightspace by Desire2Learn side, you need to send the downloaded Federation Metadata XML and appropriate copied URLs from Azure portal to Brightspace by Desire2Learn support team. They set this setting to have the SAML SSO connection set properly on both sides.

Create Brightspace by Desire2Learn test user

In this section, you create a user called Britta Simon in Brightspace by Desire2Learn. Work with Brightspace by Desire2Learn support team to add the users in the Brightspace by Desire2Learn platform. Users must be created and activated before you use single sign-on.

Note

You can use any other Brightspace by Desire2Learn user account creation tools or APIs provided by Brightspace by Desire2Learn to provision Azure Active Directory user accounts.

Test SSO

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 Brightspace by Desire2Learn for which you set up the SSO.

  • You can use Microsoft My Apps. When you click the Brightspace by Desire2Learn tile in the My Apps, you should be automatically signed in to the Brightspace by Desire2Learn for which you set up the SSO. For more information about the My Apps, see Introduction to the My Apps.

Next steps

Once you configure Brightspace by Desire2Learn 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.