In my previous two posts, I’ve discussed two solutions for using Azure Active Directory authentication from a bespoke PHP web application.
In the first post I essentially re-wrote an article that originally was written on the Azure website which unfortunately no longer seems valid (EDIT 07/2016: Has since been completely removed!). The solution written there used SimpleSAMLphp and libraries written by Microsoft to implement WS-Federation for authenticating custom PHP applications with Azure AD. My first post clears up some issues and demonstrates a more logical method of configuring SimpleSAMLphp on IIS.
In my second post, I showed a more elegant solution that did away with the Microsoft WS-Federation libraries and used only SimpleSAMLphp and SAML2 to authenticate a custom PHP application with Azure Active Directory. I also showed how you can configure an Azure application to pass through groups claims in the token.
In this third (and hopefully final) post, I’ll combine components of the two previous posts and demonstrate how you can use SimpleSAMLphp to integrate directly with ADFS 2012R2.
- A working ADFS 2012R2 implementation.
Apologies but this isn’t something I’ve blogged about yet (I will, soon). For now, there are plenty of fantastic articles on setting up ADFS out there but when you do it, make sure you’re setting up ADFS 2012R2 (It’s on Windows Server 2012R2 of course). Why am I telling you to set it up on Windows Server 2012R2? Simple, Alternate Login ID.
- Access to a Linux box with an updated version of OpenSSL.
OK, so strictly you don’t need a Linux box – it’s just easier if you have access to one. We need to generate a certificate and key for token signing purposes and fiddling with installations of OpenSSL on Windows isn’t something I want to document. Spin one up in Azure and bin it once you’re done with it!
Continue reading Integrating SimpleSAMLphp with ADFS 2012R2
In my last mammoth post, I posted an update/re-write to an article originally written on the Azure website that used some libraries provided by Microsoft to enable custom PHP applications to sign-on to Azure AD using WS-Federation. In that post I described a method for installing and configuring SimpleSAMLphp to IIS that enables it to be used by any number of sites on the same server, all that’s required is to add a simple Virtual Directory to each site. If you want to configure SimpleSAMLphp on IIS, check that post out.
The intention with this post is to do away with Microsoft’s libraries altogether and use only SimpleSAMLphp in a more integrated way. The purpose is to avoid having to re-write a lot of functionality already provided by SimpleSAMLphp that’s likely to be missing from Microsoft’s libraries, and of course open up access to SimpleSAMLphp’s documented API.
I will assume you have configured SimpleSAMLphp already using the method documented in the last post. In order to proceed in this post, you also need to have configured an application within Azure Active Directory. Again, you can find instructions for that included in the previous post.
The largest difference with this post is, as I mentioned, better integration with SimpleSAMLphp – as such, there’s more configuration to complete within SimpleSAMLphp than there was in the previous post.
- We’ll import federation data from our Azure application in to SimpleSAMLphp.
- We’ll configure SimpleSAMLphp as a Service Provider.
- We’ll create a little code to get us authenticating.
Continue reading Single Sign-on to Azure AD using SimpleSAMLphp
So, what’s this massive post about? I recently read an article on the Azure website about using Azure AD authentication with bespoke PHP applications. While the article is quick and concise – it has a number of serious issues.
First and foremost, the end result is that the solution just doesn’t work. It obviously took the writer a good amount of time to write the code for the article (assuming he did that is) but despite that, it has suffered from bit rot and a lot of people have tried and failed to use the article as a learning tool.
I’d still suggest using the article as reference material – everything has its value at the end of the day but if you do actually want custom PHP applications with Azure AD authentication to work, that article won’t give you a working solution. I’ve re-written the article and explained a few more of the concepts and expanded on a few decision points that are useful to the reader while doing battle with the code and its bit rot.
As per the original article’s introduction:
This tutorial will show PHP developers how to leverage Azure Active Directory to enable single sign-on for your own custom PHP applications. You will learn how to:
- Install and configure SimpleSAMLphp on to an IIS web server.
- Obtain and edit the necessary sample code associated with the original article.
- Create and configure a custom Azure application inside Azure AD.
- Protect the application (err, page) using WS-Federation.
- Demonstrate actual authentication with Azure AD as well as federated authentication with an on-premises domain via Azure AD.
Continue reading Single sign-on with Azure AD in PHP