Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with Central Desktop
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate Central Desktop with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). When you integrate Central Desktop with Azure AD, you can:
- Control in Azure AD who has access to Central Desktop.
- Enable your users to be automatically signed-in to Central Desktop 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.
- Central Desktop single sign-on (SSO) enabled subscription.
In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD single sign-on in a test environment.
- Central Desktop supports SP initiated SSO.
Add Central Desktop from the gallery
To configure the integration of Central Desktop into Azure AD, you need to add Central Desktop 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 Central Desktop in the search box.
- Select Central Desktop 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 Central Desktop
Configure and test Azure AD SSO with Central Desktop 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 Central Desktop.
To configure and test Azure AD SSO with Central Desktop, perform the following steps:
- Configure Azure AD SSO - to enable your users to use this feature.
- Configure Central Desktop SSO - to configure the single sign-on settings on application side.
- Create Central Desktop test user - to have a counterpart of B.Simon in Central Desktop 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 Central Desktop 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 Basic SAML Configuration section, perform the following steps:
a. In the Identifier box, type a URL using one of the following patterns:
b. In the Reply URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern:
c. In the Sign-on URL text box, type a URL using the following pattern:
These values are not real. Update these values with the actual Identifier,Reply URL and Sign on URL. Contact Central Desktop 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.
On the Set up Single Sign-On with SAML page, in the SAML Signing Certificate section, click Download to download the Certificate (Raw) from the given options as per your requirement and save it on your computer.
On the Set up Central Desktop section, copy the appropriate URL(s) as per 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Central Desktop.
- In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, and then select All applications.
- In the applications list, select Central Desktop.
- 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 Central Desktop SSO
Sign in to your Central Desktop tenant.
Go to Settings. Select Advanced, and then select Single Sign On.
On the Single Sign On Settings page, perform the following steps:
a. Select Enable SAML v2 Single Sign On.
b. In the SSO URL box, paste the Azure Ad Identifier value that you copied from the Azure portal.
c. In the SSO Login URL box, paste the Login URL value that you copied from the Azure portal.
d. In the SSO Logout URL box, paste the Logout URL value that you copied from the Azure portal.
In the Message Signature Verification Method section, perform the following steps:
a. Select Certificate.
b. In the SSO Certificate list, select RSH SHA256.
c. Open your downloaded certificate in Notepad. Then copy the content of certificate and paste it into the SSO Certificate field.
d. Select Display a link to your SAMLv2 login page.
e. Select Update.
Create Central Desktop test user
For Azure AD users to be able to sign in, they must be provisioned in the Central Desktop application. This section describes how to create Azure AD user accounts in Central Desktop.
To provision Azure AD user accounts, you can use any other Central Desktop user account creation tools or APIs that are provided by Central Desktop.
To provision user accounts to Central Desktop:
Sign in to your Central Desktop tenant.
Select People and then select Add Internal Members.
In the Email Address of New Members box, type an Azure AD account that you want to provision, and then select Next.
Select Add Internal member(s).
The users that you add receive an email that includes a confirmation link for activating their accounts.
In this section, you test your Azure AD single sign-on configuration with following options.
Click on Test this application in Azure portal. This will redirect to Central Desktop Sign-on URL where you can initiate the login flow.
Go to Central Desktop Sign-on URL directly and initiate the login flow from there.
You can use Microsoft My Apps. When you click the Central Desktop tile in the My Apps, this will redirect to Central Desktop Sign-on URL. For more information about the My Apps, see Introduction to the My Apps.
Once you configure Central Desktop 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.