Tutorial: Azure Active Directory integration with direct
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to integrate direct with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). When you integrate direct with Azure AD, you can:
- Control in Azure AD who has access to direct.
- Enable your users to be automatically signed-in to direct with their Azure AD accounts.
- Manage your accounts in one central location - the Azure portal.
To configure Azure AD integration with direct, you need the following items:
- An Azure AD subscription. If you don't have an Azure AD environment, you can get a free account.
- direct single sign-on enabled subscription.
In this tutorial, you configure and test Azure AD single sign-on in a test environment.
- direct supports SP and IDP initiated SSO.
Identifier of this application is a fixed string value so only one instance can be configured in one tenant.
Add direct from the gallery
To configure the integration of direct into Azure AD, you need to add direct 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 direct in the search box.
- Select direct 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 direct
Configure and test Azure AD SSO with direct 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 direct.
To configure and test Azure AD SSO with direct, perform the following steps:
- Configure Azure AD SSO - to enable your users to use this feature.
- Configure direct SSO - to configure the single sign-on settings on application side.
- Create direct test user - to have a counterpart of B.Simon in direct 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 direct 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, if you wish to configure the application in IDP initiated mode, perform the following step:
In the Identifier text box, type the URL:
Click Set additional URLs and perform the following step if you wish to configure the application in SP initiated mode:
In the Sign-on URL text box, type the URL:
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.
On the Set up direct 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 direct.
- In the Azure portal, select Enterprise Applications, and then select All applications.
- In the applications list, select direct.
- 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 direct SSO
To configure single sign-on on direct side, you need to send the downloaded Federation Metadata XML and appropriate copied URLs from Azure portal to direct support team. They set this setting to have the SAML SSO connection set properly on both sides.
Create direct test user
In this section, you create a user called Britta Simon in direct. Work with direct support team to add the users in the direct platform. Users must be created and activated before you use single sign-on.
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 direct Sign on URL where you can initiate the login flow.
Go to direct Sign-on URL directly and initiate the login flow from there.
- Click on Test this application in Azure portal and you should be automatically signed in to the direct for which you set up the SSO.
You can also use Microsoft My Apps to test the application in any mode. When you click the direct tile in the My Apps, if configured in SP mode you would be redirected to the application sign on page for initiating the login flow and if configured in IDP mode, you should be automatically signed in to the direct for which you set up the SSO. For more information about the My Apps, see Introduction to the My Apps.
Once you configure direct 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.