You’ve reached the concluding episode of a four part video made on using SAML v2 Assertion attributes in an application protected by ForgeRock OpenAM. I don’t need to mention that this being the last one in the lot, it may seem pointless to read/view this entry independently without going through the entries below, preferably in the exact same order as is listed:
We can safely say that the diagram below is the end state of our demonstration:
So what we’ve in there is a client attempting to access the protected J2EE Application, which is intercepted by the OpenAM Policy Agent, who in turn redirects the request to an IDP initiated SSO URL, resulting in a Login page to the end user from IDP. The IDP would then validate the credentials supplied by the end user, and if found authentic, sends an assertion to the SP with the user attributes (like mail, telephonenumber) specified in the Federation Configuration. Because it uses Transient Federation, the user will not have a profile in SP, still the attributes in the Assertion is available in the user’s session to be used by the Agent to pass on to the application. It may have sounded complicated, but I’m confident that the concluding episode of a rather lengthy screen-cast can help you figure it all.
I want to take a moment to Thank you! to have spent time reading/viewing my web logs on ‘Using SAML Assertion Attributes’ and sincerely hope it was useful.
This is the third episode from a four part video made on using SAML v2 Assertion attributes in an application protected by ForgeRock OpenAM. In the interest of continuity and also to get the context accurately, it may make sense to read/view the blog posts in the following order:
The diagram is a slightly modified version of the one that you would have seen in my earlier blog entry. It has one additional user in the Identity Provider (which of course seems like a world famous detective and that’s no coincidence), but no corresponding entry in the Service Provider. In the Identity Federation Configuration earlier, we saw how a user with an id ‘demo’ in the Identity Provider linked her account with her id in the Service Provider. But there can be situations, when we may want to use Federation with identities only at the IDP, still gaining access to the applications protected by the SP. That’s where Transient Federation comes into play. It maps the identities from IDP to an anonymous user in the SP (many to one mapping).
This post is based on the ForgeRock Documentation on configuring OpenIG as SAML 2.0 Service Provider. The video logs embedded just below this write up is a visual representation of what is already there in the document that I mentioned above. For a detailed study, please read through the documentation and then sit back, relax and watch the demonstration in the screen-cast below
SAML 2.0 as you probably know is a standard to exchange information between a SAML authority (a Identity Provider a.k.a IDP) and a SAML Consumer (a Service Provider a.k.a SP). In the demonstration that follows ForgeRock OpenAM acts as an Identity Provider and ForgeRock OpenIG acts as a Service Provider. So the authentication of a user is done by the IDP, who will then send a piece of information (Assertion) to the SP that could contain the attributes of user from the user’s profile in the IDP DataStore. SP will then use the information thus obtained (Assertion) to take further action (like giving access to the user etc.)
There are two ways of getting this done:
(i) SP initiated SSO
(ii) IDP initiated SSO
In simple words, in a SP initiated SSO, the user contacts the Service Provider, who in turns gets in touch with the Identity Provider, who would validate the user credentials and then exchange a piece of information (Assertion) that could contain the user attributes to the Service Provider. Whereas a IDP initiated SSO, the IDP will authenticate the user, and would then send an unsolicited message (Assertion) to the SP, who would then take further action (like giving access to the user etc.)
The following two illustrations might give a rough idea:
In our story (above in the illustration and below in the video), a user authenticates against ForgeRock OpenAM (IDP), who will send then an assertion (containing user’s mail and employeenumber attribute) to ForgeRock OpenIG (Service Provider), who will apply filters (like extracting the attributes from assertion and posting it as username and password) to post the user’s credentials to a protected application (Minimal HTTP Server)
If you’ve got a vague picture on what’s discussed above, I’d believe it’ll be clearer after watching the video below: