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Azure AD Management

How to move application authentication to Azure AD

Azure AD can provide numerous benefits when it comes to application authentication. By transferring the responsibility of authenticating from your application, Azure AD can provide identity and access management services for users. Also, you can simplify the development of applications as it provides a secure, scalable, reliable, and reliable authentication and authorisation solution. So, here, I will guide you on how to move application authentication to Azure AD by providing you with the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition.

Benefits of moving application authentication to Azure AD   

Moving application authentication to Azure AD can provide several benefits to businesses, including:

Single sign-on (SSO) capability   

Azure AD offers a single sign-on (SSO) capability that allows users to authenticate once and then access multiple applications without having to log in again. This feature provides users with a seamless and simplified login experience, which can improve productivity and user satisfaction.

Centralized authentication and authorization management   

Azure AD provides centralized authentication and authorization management, which allows businesses to manage user access to applications, devices, and data from a single console. This feature provides businesses with greater control over user access and can help prevent security breaches.

Improved security   

Azure AD offers advanced security features such as multi-factor authentication, conditional access policies, and risk-based authentication that can help protect businesses against cyber threats. These features provide an additional layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to applications and data.

If you are much interested in understanding stages of migration, check out the link here.

Steps to move application authentication to Azure AD: 

Step 1: Create an Azure AD tenant   

The first step is to create an Azure AD tenant. An Azure AD tenant is a dedicated instance of Azure AD that your organization owns and manages. You can create an Azure AD tenant using the Azure portal or PowerShell.

For detailed info on how to create an Azure AD tenant, check out -> A comprehensive guide on how to set-up an Azure AD tenant 

Step 2: Register your application with Azure AD   

The next step is to register your application with Azure AD. This process involves creating an application registration in Azure AD, which provides Azure AD with information about your application, such as its name, URL, and supported authentication protocols.

Step 3: Configure your application to use Azure AD for authentication   

Once you have registered your application with Azure AD, you need to configure your application to use Azure AD for authentication. This involves updating your application’s code to support authentication using Azure AD.

For detailed info on how to configure Azure AD tenant, check out -> A step-by-step guide on how to Configure Azure AD Tenant

Step 4: Test your application   

After configuring your application to use Azure AD for authentication, you should test your application to ensure that it is working as expected. You can use the Azure AD sign-in logs to monitor user sign-ins and diagnose any issues that may arise.

Step 5: Enable SSO for your application   

Finally, you can enable SSO for your application, which allows users to sign in once and access multiple applications without having to log in again. This process involves configuring Azure AD to trust your application and allowing users to consent to SSO.

Now let us see the practical example on how to move the application authentication to Azure AD for the 3rd party applications like Salesforce and Jira and enable SSO for them.

Move application authentication to Azure AD for Salesforce and Jira 

1.  Salesforce: 

To move application authentication to Azure AD for Salesforce, follow these steps:

Create an Azure AD application: 

First, you need to create an Azure AD application to enable Salesforce to authenticate users.

To do this,

  1. Log in to the Azure portal
  2. Select “App registrations” from the left-hand menu, and click “New registration“.
  3. Provide a name for the application and select “Web” as the type of application.
  4. Enter the Salesforce login URL in the “Redirect URL” field.
  5. Click “Register.”

Configure Salesforce:  

  1. In Salesforce, navigate to “Setup” and select “Single Sign-On Settings“.
  2. Select “SAML Single Sign-On” and click “Edit“.
  3. Under “Issuer“, enter the Application (client) ID from the Azure AD application you created earlier.
  4. Under “Identity Provider Login URL“, enter the Azure AD login URL.
  5. Under “Identity Provider Certificate“, upload the certificate from the Azure AD application and click “Save“.

2. Jira: 

Moving application authentication to Azure AD for Jira follows a similar process:

Create an Azure AD application:  

Follow the same steps as for Salesforce to create an Azure AD application for Jira.

Configure Jira:  

  1. In Jira, navigate to “Administration” and select “User Management“.
  2. Click on “Jira User Server“, select “Microsoft Azure AD” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Enter the Azure AD application ID and select the appropriate domain from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click “Test Connection” to verify the configuration.

Enable SSO for Salesforce and Jira 

Enable SSO for Salesforce:  

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the Azure AD application you created for Salesforce and select “Single sign-on” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Select “SAML-based Sign-on” as the sign-on method.
  3. Under “Basic SAML Configuration“, download the federation metadata XML file.
Configure Salesforce for SSO:  
  1. In Salesforce, go to “Setup” and select “Single Sign-On Settings“.
  2. Select “SAML Single Sign-On” and click “New“.
  3. Upload the Azure AD metadata XML file you downloaded.
  4. Enter the “Name” for your SSO configuration and click “Save“.

Enable SSO for Jira:  

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the Azure AD application you created for Jira and select “Single sign-on” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Select “SAML-based Sign-on” as the sign-on method. Under “Basic SAML Configuration“, download the federation metadata XML file.
Configure Jira for SSO:  
  1. In Jira, go to “Administration” and select “User Management“.
  2. Click on “Jira User Server” and select “Microsoft Azure AD” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click “Configure SAML SSO” and upload the Azure AD metadata XML file you downloaded.
  4. Enter the “Issuer URL” for Azure AD and click “Save“.

Test the SSO configuration: 

To test the SSO configuration, log out of Salesforce/Jira and try to log in again. You should be redirected to the Azure AD login page.

Note: After entering your Azure AD credentials, you should be redirected back to Salesforce/Jira and authenticated automatically.

On account of on-premise authentication, check our our content here about Azure AD Pass-through – On-premises authentication in the cloud.

In summary

Moving application authentication to Azure AD can provide several benefits to businesses, including single sign-on capability, centralized authentication and authorization management, and improved security. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth transition to Azure AD authentication and enjoy the benefits of this powerful cloud-based identity and access management service.

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