SAML Module for Alfresco Content Services

Configure Active Directory

The following steps are example instructions for configuring Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) as the identity provider to use with the SAML Module in Alfresco.


  • A working domain on your Windows Server
  • Active Directory is set up
  • Users exist in Active Directory
  • Alfresco Content Services is configured for SSL

Setup steps

  1. Run a full LDAP sync. This can be done by restarting Alfresco Content Services.

    Note: If a user exists in LDAP, but not in Alfresco, they will not be able to log in to Alfresco when the SAML Module is enabled. See Configuring LDAP (Active Directory) for more information.

  2. Install ADFS. For example purposes we will use a domain name of and a Federation Service name of

    Test your AD FS installation by accessing these URLs:


    where is your Federation Service Name.

  3. Log in to ADFS as an administrator and go to Account Settings.

  4. In Idp AuthenticationRequest Service URL, enter the location of the SingleSignOnService element of the ADFS metadata.

    For example

    Alfresco supports the HTTP-POST binding only, so you only need to copy the location of the HTTP-POST services.

    For example:

     <SingleSignOnService Location="" Binding="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-POST"/>
  5. In IdP SingleLogoutRequest Service URL and IdP SingleLogoutResponse Service URL, enter the location of the SingleLogoutService element of the ADFS metadata.

    For example:

     <SingleLogoutService Location="" Binding="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-POST"/>
  6. Export the ADFS certificate:

    1. Click ADFS Management (Server Manager > Tools), then Service, then Certificates.

    2. In the Token-signing section, right click the certificate and select View Certificate.

    3. On the Details tab, click Copy to file and Next.

    4. Select DER encoded binary X.509 (.CER), and click Next.

    5. Select where you want to save the file and enter a name for it. Click Save, Next, and Finish.

  7. In a browser window, log in to the Admin Console SAML page as an administrator, to upload your exported certificate to Alfresco: https://localhost:8443/alfresco/service/enterprise/admin/admin-saml

  8. Click Upload IdP Certificate to browse to and upload the ADFS certificate you exported in step 6, and click Save.

    IdP Certificate Status shows whether the certificate is valid and the expiry date of the current certificate.

    Note: Alfresco Content Services does not allow you to upload an expired certificate.

  9. While you are in the Admin Console, click Download SP Certificate to download the certificate required by ADFS and Download SP Metadata for later use.

  10. Add a Relying Party Trust (RPT).

    1. Click ADFS Management (Server Manager > Tools > ADFS Management), and expand Trust Relationships.

    2. Select the Relying Party Trusts folder. Right click Relying Party Trusts and select Add Relying Party Trust.

    3. Click Start in the wizard that appears.

    4. In the Select Data Source window, select Enter data about the relying party manually and click Next.

    5. In the Specify Display Name window, enter a display name that you’ll remember, and any notes that you require. Click Next.

    6. In the ** Choose Profile** window, click the ADFS profile radio button and click Next.

    7. In the Configure Certificate window, accept the default certificate settings by clicking Next.

    8. In the Configure URL window, check Enable support for the SAML 2.0 WebSSO protocol box and enter in the Relying party SAML 2.0 SSO service URL.

      In your Alfresco metadata, this is the Location value of the AssertionConsumerService element. For example:

      • For Alfresco Share: https://localhost:8443/share/page/saml-authnresponse
      • For REST API: https://localhost:8443/alfresco/service/saml/-default-/rest-api/authenticate-response
      • For Alfresco Office Services: https://localhost:8443/alfresco/service/saml/-default-/aos/authenticate-response
    9. In the Configure Identifiers window, enter a relying party trust identifier.

      This value must match the value in the Entity Identification (Issuer) field of the Alfresco Admin Console. For example:

      • For Alfresco Share: https://localhost:8443/share
      • For REST API: https://localhost:8443/alfresco
    10. In the Configure Multi-factor Authentication Now? window, click the radio button I do not want to configure multi-factor authentication settings for this relying party trust at this time and click Next.

    11. In the Choose Issuance Authorization Rules window, click the radio button Permit all users to access this relying party and click Next.

    12. In the Ready to Add Trust window, leave the default settings and click Next.

    13. In the Finish window, check the check box and click Close to exit. The Edit Claim Rules editor will open.

  11. Create the claim rules.

    Note: If the Edit Claim Rules editor doesn’t open after you have created the trust, right click the relying party name that you created in the previous step and select Edit Claim Rule.

    1. In the Issuance Transform Rules tab, click Add Rule and click Next.

    2. In the Choose Rule Type window, select Send LDAP Attributes as Claims and click Next.

    3. In the Configure Claim Rule window:

      1. In Claim rule name, enter a name for the rule, for example: LDAP Attributes.
      2. In Attribute store, select Active Directory.
      3. In the Mapping of LDAP attributes to outgoing claim types table, select E-Mail Addresses in the LDAP Attribute column and the Outgoing Claim Type column.
      4. In the next row, select SAM-Account-Name in the LDAP Attribute column.
      5. In the next row, select Name ID in the Outgoing Claim Type column.

        Note: Adding the Name ID instructs ADFS to specifically send the SessionIndex with the response. You need the SessionIndex to use Alfresco Single Logout.

    4. Click Finish to save the rule and OK to complete.

  12. Adjust the Relying Party Trust settings.

    1. Click ADFS Management (Server Manager > Tools > ADFS Management), and expand Trust Relationships.

    2. Right click the Relying Party Trust that you created in step 10 and select Properties.

    3. Click the Advanced tab, and make sure you select SHA-256 as the secure hash algorithm. Click OK.

    4. Click the Endpoints tab, and click Add SAML to add a new endpoint.

      1. For Endpoint type, select SAML Logout.
      2. For Binding, select POST.
      3. For Trusted URL, enter the Alfresco logout request URL. This is the Location value in the Alfresco metadata SingleLogoutService element. For example:

        • For Alfresco Share:

        • For REST API:

        • For Alfresco Office Services:

      4. In Response URL, enter the Alfresco logout response URL. This is the ResponseLocation value in the Alfresco metadata SingleLogoutService element. For example:

        • For Alfresco Share:

        • For REST API:

        • For Alfresco Office Services:

      5. Click OK.
    5. Click the Signature tab, and Add to upload the Alfresco certificate that you downloaded in step 9.

      Note: You may see a warning about the length of a certificate key. You can ignore this message.

    6. Click OK to save your changes.

  13. Test your setup.

    1. Create a user in the Windows Server Active Directory.

    2. Add an email address for the created user.

      Right click on the user, select Properties, and add the email address that matches your Alfresco instance and Windows server domain. For example, if you have created a user in Alfresco with the username user1, ADFS assigns an email address of, where is the ADFS domain.

    3. Go to where is your Federated Service name.

    4. Select the RPT name that you created in step 10 and sign in. You should see confirmation that you are signed in to ADFS.

To troubleshoot ADFS, use the Event Viewer.

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