[Released] DNN Azure Active Directory provider

DNNADHi all! Since long time ago I was trying to implement an Azure Active Directory provider for DNN Platform, and you know what? This weekend I got time for it, mostly because a pull request brought to my attention a change on the platform (thanks to Evan Smith for it! https://github.com/dnnsoftware/Dnn.Platform/pull/250).

So after spending some time coding and configuring the applications on Azure, I have built the first release of a DNN Azure Authentication provider that I have made available at Github.

Download and Code:


Here all the configuration and installation steps at glance.

DNN Azure Active Directory provider

The DNN Azure Active Directory Provider is an Authentication provider for DNN Platform that uses Azure Active Directory OAuth2 authentication to authenticate users.

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Installation and configuration guide

The installation and configuration guide has two parts: one referred to the Azure Active Directory setup; and a second one where we install the authorization provider on our DNN deployment and setup the AD parameters we created before.

Following the guide before, you will give access to all your Azure AD users to register and sign-in into your DNN application. You can go later and harden your security settings like only allow to access the DNN Web Application to certain users on the Azure Management portal. Also note that depending on you have "Public" or "Private" user account registration on your DNN portal, you will need to approve the registered user before allowing him to access the site.

Azure Active Directory setup
  1. Go to https://manage.windowsazure.com to setup the required applications on your Azure Active Directory. You need to use the user credentials of an user having at least "Service Admin" role.
  2. From the Azure Active Directory list, select the Directory you are going to setup
  3. Select the applications tab to create the two needed applications. On the scenario we are going to deploy we have a client application (the DNN web application) that will make requests to a Web API (the "resource" on the OAuth webflow). First of all we will setup the Web API app with permissions to read the AD, and then setup the second DNN Web app that has permissions to access the first app.
    1. Click on "Add" button from the bottom bar to start the application setup wizard
    2. Click on "Add an application my organization is developing"
    3. Set the "name" of your Web API application. This can be any name you want and is simply how you will identify the application in your Azure Active Directory (i.e. "My Contoso WebAPI").
    4. Set the type of application to "Web application and/or Web API" (notice that Web Applications and Web API’s are considered the same type of application as far as Azure AD is concerned), and click Next.
    5. Set the "Sign-on URL". This is the URL where users will access your application. There is no verification of this URL so even if the application hasn’t been developed yet the portal will still let you add it. (i.e. "https://mycontoso.com/login")
    6. Set the "App Id URI". Notice this is a URI and not a URL. This is what Azure AD will use to identify your application when authentication users requesting access to it. It can be practically anything you want as long as it is unique in your directory and a valid URI. (i.e. "https://mycontoso.com/mywebapi"). Click Finish to create the application.
    7. Ensure that on the "Configure" tab, under the "permissions to other applications", at least "Windows Azure Active Directory>Delegated Permissions>Enable sign-on and read users’ profiles" is checked.
  4. Now create the DNN Client Web App on Active Directory following the next steps:
    1. Again, from the "Applications" tab, click on "Add" button at the bottom bar to start the application setup wizard
    2. Click on "Add an application my organization is developing"
    3. Set the "name" of your Web API application. (i.e. "My Contoso Web App")
    4. Set the "Sign-on URL". (i.e. "https://mycontoso.com/login")
    5. Set the "App Id URI". (i.e. "https://mycontoso.com/mywebapp"). Click Finish to create the application.
    6. Now on the "Configure" tab, under the "keys" section, create a new key with the desired expiration (currently 1 or 2 years). Click on Save and then copy the key to a secure location. IMPORTANT: you won’t be able to copy this key later, so copy it now or generate a new one when needed.
    7. Under the "single sign-on" section, fill the "Reply URL" textbox with the REAL and valid URL you are using in your DNN portal. Note that you can specify more than one if you have different login pages. (i.e. https://azuread.dnndev.me/Login)
    8. Now let’s go and give permissions to the DNN Client Web App to access the Web API application we created before:
    9. Under the "permissions to other applications", click on the "Add Application" button
    10. On the "Show" dropdown list, select "All Apps" and then type on the "Starting with" textbox the name you specified when creating the Web API application (i.e. "My Contoso WebAPI"), and click on the search button
    11. Select the "My Contoso WebAPI" from the list below by clicking on the "+" icon and then click on the Finish button
    12. On the "My Contoso WebAPI" permissions row, check "Access MyContosoWebAPI" from the delegated permissions dropdown list.
    13. Click Save to finish.
DNN provider installation and configuration

It’s important to remember that you need a DNN deployment with version 7.4.1 or later to continue.

  1. Download the DNN Azure AD provider from the Releases folder (i.e. AzureADProvider_01.00.00_Install.resources)https://github.com/davidjrh/dnn.azureadprovider/tree/master/Releases
  2. Login into your DNN Platform website as a host user and install the provider from the "Host > Extensions" page
  3. Use the "Install Extension Wizard" to upload and install the file you downloaded on step 1. Once installed, you will see the auth provider listed under the "Authentication Systems" section.
  4. To setup the Azure AD provider for the current portal, go to "Admin > Extensions", and under the "Authentication Systems" click on the "Edit" module. A popup dialog opens to specify all the needed parameters:
    1. Go to the Azure Management portal, and selecting the My Contoso Web App, click on the "View Endpoints" on the bottom bar to view the app endpoints.alt text alt text
    2. TokenEndpoint: copy and paste the "OAuth 2.0 Token Endpoint"
    3. AuthorizationEndpoint: copy and paste the "OAuth 2.0 Authorization Endpoint"
    4. GraphEndpoint: copy and paste the "Windows Azure AD Graph API Endpoint" (this is not in use yet on this version, but will be used on new provider versions)
  5. Now fill the other fields:
    1. APIKey: from the DNN Web Application you created on Azure, copy and paste the Client ID field that s under the "Configuration" section
    2. APISecret: from the same DNN Web Application, copy and paste the key secret that you wrote down on a secure place. If you didn’t, you can generate another one, remember that are only shown once
    3. AppIdUri: copy and paste your WebAPI App ID Uri (IMPORTANT: this is not the WebApp ID Uri, is the WebAPI ID Uri you created before. On this example, ishttps://mycontoso.com/mywebapi). It’s the unique parameter you need to specify from the first WebAPI you created, all the other ones are from the DNN Web App application.
    4. Enable: check to enable the provider

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