Federated authentication

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Federated authentication

Overview

Bizagi supports integration with an Identity provider featuring federation services.

This way, in Bizagi you may rely on Single Sign-On capabilities and entrust the authentication to your corporate Identity provider (i.e Active Directory Federation Services).

 

When using Federated authentication, outstanding benefits for your organization are:

1. Presenting a single and unified login screen to your end users, when these access any application of your corporate domain (avoiding multiple login screens of different applications).

Similarly, end users will need to remember a single login account and its password (avoiding multiple login accounts and multiple corresponding passwords).

 

2. Centralizing your users repository and its authentication system.

This automatically reduces the administration overhead produced when you have multiple authentication systems due to the periodical tasks needed (handle idle accounts, reset passwords, etc).

 

3. Enforcing security policies.

By having a central user repository and authentication system, you may enhance security measures in it and strict security policies (i.e for passwords, account characteristics and profiles, etc), and rely on the secure protocols such as HTTPS for the communication between your corporate domain applications.

 

4. Providing a best user experience for end users that access applications in your corporate domain from any location or device.

Through federated authentication in Bizagi, desktop, tablets and mobile devices rely on standard protocols to enable a Single Sign-On experience.

 

Federated authentication architecture

The following image illustrates the  system architecture involved when using federated authentication..

 

Federated Authentication

 

Notice in the above scheme:

That your Identity provider (or Identity Assertion Provider) is responsible of providing the authentication through standard assertions and security tokens.

Bizagi is set up as a Service provider, which entrusts the authentication to the Identity provider by having a predefined trust relationship with it (Bizagi becomes in this scheme what is known as a relying party).

While using Federated authentication, passwords are not stored in Bizagi and the system architecture relies on HTTPS secure protocols to send assertions.

For HTTPS, you need a valid certificate for your identity provider.

Certificates for this use are known as SSL Server certificates (from this point on this is how we will address them).

Valid certificates (i.e for your production environment) need to correspond to server certificates as issued/recognized by a valid Certificate Authority (CA).

You may use the same Server certificates employed for the SSL/TLS protocol, to sign off assertions.

Or, you may also choose to use a different one for signing and encryption purposes.

What you need to consider for this choice is that your certificates should specify the exact name of your server and its domain.

 

Sequence diagram

Federated authentication works in detail, as explained below:

 

Federated Authentication Sequence

 

1. End users access Bizagi through any given device.

2. Identity provider service is identified.

For WS-Federation, a discovery of the service takes place.

3. Bizagi redirects the authentication against the identity provider.

4. The end user sees a login page and authenticates to the entrusted identity provider (when not authenticated yet).

5. Proper identification of that user for a registered domain takes place.

6. The identity provider responds with an XHTML form (sends an assertion).

7. The end user's request will proceed to go back to Bizagi this time with a token that certifies its authentication.

8. Bizagi redirects to the initial requested resource/page.

9. The Request is processed accordingly.

10.The end user accesses that resource page.

 

Prerequisites

Before you move on, make sure:

 

1. You have a setup Identity provider which supports the WS-Federation Passive Protocol.

 

2. Your Identity provider is setup using the HTTPS protocol.

You will need to have the corresponding valid SSL/TLS server certificate for this (up-to-date and issued by a certificate authority).

 

note_pin

Recommended versions to use Federated Authentication in Bizagi are ADFS version 3.0.

 

What you need to do

To configure federated authentication for your Bizagi project, follow these steps:

 

1.  Configure the Identity provider to work with Bizagi.

For more information about this step, refer to ADFS configuration.

2.  Configure the authentication parameters in Bizagi.

For more information about this step, refer to Parameters configuration.