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  • July 5, 2014

Service provider initiated SSO on WLS 11g using SAM2.0 by Darwin-IT

Juergen Kress
PaaS Partner Adoption


At a recent customer I got the assignment to implement a SAML 2.0 configuration.
The customer is in this setup a Service Provider. They provide a student-administration application for the Dutch Higher Education Sector, like Colleges and Universities. The application conventionally is implemented on premise. But they like to move to a SaaS model. One institute is going to use the application from 'the cloud'. In the Dutch education sector, an organization called SurfConext serves as an authentication broker.
A good schematic explanation of the setup is in the Weblogic 11g docs:

When a user connects to the application, Weblogic finds that the user is not authenticated: it lacks a SAML2.0 token (2). So when configured correctly the browser is rerouted to SurfConext (3). On an authentication request SurfConext displays a so-called ‘Where Are You From’ (WAYF) page, on which a user can choose the institute to which he or she is connected. SurfConext then provides a means to enter the username and password (4). On submit SurfConext validates the credentials against the actual IdP, which is provided by the user’s institute (5). On a valid authentication, SurfConext provides a SAML2.0 token identifying the user with possible assertions (6). The page is refreshed and redirected to the landing page of the application (7). For Weblogic SurfConext is in fact the Identity Profider, although in fact, based on the choice on the WAYF page, it reroutes the authentication request to the IdP of the particular institute. Unfortunately I did not find a how-to of that particular setup in the docs. Although I found this. But I did find the following blog: https://blogs.oracle.com/blogbypuneeth/entry/steps_to_configure_saml_2, that helped me much. Basically the setup is only the service provider part of that description. So let me walk you through it. This is a larger blog, in fact I copy&paste larger parts from the configuration document I wrote for the customer

Configure Service provider


To be able to test the setup against a test-IdP of SurfConext the configured Weblogic need to be reachable from internet. Appropriate firewall and proxy-server configuration need to be done upfront to enable both SurfConext to connect to the Weblogic Server as well as a remote user. All configuration regarding url’s need to be done using the outside url’s configured above. A PC with a direct internet connection that is enabled to connect through these same URL’s is needed to test the configuration. When connecting a pc to the intranet of the customer enables the pc to connect to internet, but the internal network configuration prevented connecting to the weblogic server using the remote url’s.

During the configuration a so called SAML Metadata file is created. This file is requested by SurfConext to get acquainted with the Service Provider. This configuration can change through reconfigurations. So SurfConext requests this through a HTTPS url. This url need to be configured, and also remotely connectable. An option is the htdocs folder of a webserver that is connectable through https. In other SAML2 setups you might need to upload the metadata-file to the identity provider's server. You also need the SAML metadata of SurfConext. It can be downloaded from: Read the complete article here.

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