Using Single Sign-On 10g (10.1.4.0.1) with Release 12

Single Sign-On & Oracle Internet Directory 10g (10.1.4.0.1) are now certified with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.  Existing Release 12 environments using Single Sign-On & Oracle Internet Directory 10g 10.1.2.0.2 may be upgraded to the latest version.

Release 12 OracleAS 10g Integration: Diagram showing integration between E-Business Suite Release 12 and a standalone Oracle Application Server 10g (OracleAS 10g) server Diagram showing integration between E-Business Suite Release 12 and a standalone Oracle Application Server 10g (OracleAS 10g) server

Applications Release 12 users can configure their environments to delegate user authentication to an external Single Sign-On 10g 10.1.4.0.1 instance.  In this optional configuration, Single Sign-On validates E-Business Suite user credentials against an external Oracle Internet Directory 10g 10.1.4.0.1 instance.

This certification is documented in:


A Quick Conceptual Overview

Looking over previously published articles, I'm bemused to see that I haven't profiled this configuration for Release 12 environments yet.  So, I'll file off the serial numbers and revisit the Release 11i version of this article in a quick recap of the key things you need to know about this configuration.

Centralized Single Sign-On Solution

Most E-Business Suite users have multiple environments for sandbox testing, QA, development, and production.  You'll likely have even more environments if you're migrating from Release 11i to Release 12. 

If you have a mix of E-Business Suite Release 11i and/or 12 instances and are tired of maintaining users separately for each environment, you can create a central Oracle Application Server 10g environment running Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g.  This allows you to manage all E-Business Suite users for all of your environments centrally.  You can use the same central environment to manage PeopleSoft and JD Edwards users centrally, too.

Use Oracle Internet Directory Instead of FND_USER

The E-Business Suite's native user management capabilities (based on the FND_USER directory) are perfectly adequate for administering E-Business Suite users.  However, security administrators looking for additional user management and provisioning features would benefit from switching to Oracle Internet Directory.

Integrate with Third-Party LDAP and Single Sign-On Products

If you have an existing corporate security system such as Microsoft Active Directory, Windows Kerberos, Sun Java Identity Management Suite (SunONE/iPlanet), or Netegrity SiteMinder, using Single Sign-On and Oracle Internet Directory 10g allows you to integrate your E-Business Suite with that infrastructure.  This is a topic for a future In-Depth posting; watch this space.

How Single Sign-On 10g Works With the E-Business Suite

When the E-Business Suite is integrated with OracleAS 10g and Single Sign-On 10g, the user authentication process is handled by Single Sign-On 10g. 

Release 12 SSO Integration: Diagram showing E-Business Suite Release 12 and Single Sign-On 10g integration

Users attempting to access protected E-Business Suite content are redirected to Single Sign-On 10g for authentication.  Users log in via Single Sign-On 10g, and then are redirected back to the E-Business Suite and the protected content they wished to access.

Authentication versus Authorization

It's important to distinguish user authentication from user authorization:
  • User authentication is the process of establishing whether the user is whom they claim to be.
  • User authorization is the process of determining what resources an authenticated user is permitted to access.
With our current integration for the E-Business Suite Release 11i, these two processes are handled by Single Sign-On and the E-Business Suite, respectively:
  • When the E-Business Suite is integrated with Single Sign-On 10g, it delegates user authentication to Single Sign-On. 
  • After Single Sign-On has successfully authenticated a user, the E-Business Suite handles the authorization process:  e.g. ensuring that the user is entitled to file expenses.
Partner Applications, Single Sign-On, and Single Sign-Off

The E-Business Suite is a Single Sign-On partner application.  Once a user logs on successfully to Single Sign-On 10g, the user has access to all registered partner applications without having to log on again.

Likewise, if a user logs out of any one of those partner applications, the user is logged out of all of them.  This is called Single Sign-Off, and works with the E-Business Suite, too.

Under the Covers:  The Chain of Trust


The key architectural concept to understand is that there is a chain of trust established between the E-Business Suite, Single Sign-On 10g, and Oracle Internet Directory 10g:

Release 12 SSO OID Integration: Diagram showing integration between E-Business Suite Release 12, Single Sign-On 10g, Oracle Internet Directory 10g

The E-Business Suite delegates user authentication to Single Sign-On, and Single Sign-On delegates user credential validation to Oracle Internet Directory.

The Log In Process, Deconstructed

Let's walk through this with an example:

Our example user isn't logged into the E-Business Suite.  She attempts to access a bookmarked link in her browser that points to the E-Business Suite's Self-Service Expenses page.

The E-Business Suite checks the user's browser for a valid Release 12 cookie, but doesn't find one:  not surprising -- she hasn't logged in yet. 

The E-Business Suite redirects the user to Single Sign-On 10g.  Single Sign-On 10g displays a login screen and collects the user's userid and password.  It then passes those credentials to Oracle Internet Directory for validation. 

Oracle Internet Directory looks up the user's credentials in the Oracle Internet Directory LDAP directory in the OracleAS 10g Infrastructure, providing an approval or rejection as appropriate to Single Sign-On.

If approved, Single Sign-On 10g issues a set of security tokens to the user and redirects her back to the E-Business Suite.   If rejected, the user is given another chance to log in with valid credentials.

Once redirected back to the E-Business Suite, the E-Business Suite recognizes the Single Sign-On security tokens and looks up the user's assigned Applications Responsibilities in the E-Business Suite FND_USER table. 

Having established that our example user is authorized to access Self-Service Expenses, the E-Business Suite issues its own security tokens and creates a new ICX user session.  The user now has two sets of security tokens in her browser, one from Single Sign-On 10g, and another from the E-Business Suite. 

At this point, the user is officially logged in, and is redirected to Self-Service Expenses.

Synchronizing User Credentials Between Oracle Internet Directory and the E-Business Suite

If user authentication and user authorization are performed by two different parts of this integrated system for the same user, the alert reader will leap ahead and guess that user credentials need to synchronized.

That guess would be correct:  user credentials in Oracle Internet Directory and the E-Business Suite's FND_USER directory need to be synchronized.  A user must be recognized and have valid entries in both locations to gain access to protected content.

Release 12 OID Integration: Diagram showing synchronization integration between E-Business Suite Release 12 and Oracle Internet Directory 10g via DIP and DBMS_LDAP

This synchronization is handled by an Oracle Internet Directory tool called the Directory Integration & Provisioning Platform. 

It's up to you to designate the master "source of truth" for user credentials; this is fully configurable.  For example, you can designate the E-Business Suite as the master and Oracle Internet Directory as the slave, or vice versa.  You can even elect to manage user credentials in both locations and have changes updated automatically between the two of them. 

In other words, changes to user credentials can flow:
  • From the E-Business Suite to Oracle Internet Directory
  • From Oracle Internet Directory to the E-Business Suite
  • Bidirectionally between them.
At this point, you're probably as exhausted as I am, so I'll cover third-party LDAP and Single Sign-On integration for Release 12 in a future article.

Related


Comments:

Interesting. Just curious how this would interact with other applications that businesses might have.

Posted by techhairball on August 17, 2007 at 09:19 AM PDT #

Techhairball,It's technically feasible to carry this Single Sign-On integration to other applications.  Other third-party applications would need to register themselves as "partner applications" with the Oracle Single Sign-On 10g server.  This usually involves a customization to those applications.If those third-party applications are sealed black boxes, it's also possible to layer Oracle's Enterprise Single Sign-On module into the environment.  Note that "Enterprise Single Sign-On 10g" is different than "Single Sign-On 10g."  These two products work in a complementary manner.  The former product will provide Single Sign-On support for external applications without the need for invasive customizations.Regards,Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on August 20, 2007 at 04:03 AM PDT #

Hi,

In this artical the paragraph "Integrate with Third-Party LDAP and Single Sign-On Products" it states that this subject will be expanded on in the future.

Was this ever done? If so please can you send me the URL? If not please can you let me know where I can find this information. I am looking into setting up SSO with Microsoft AD.

Thanks
Richard

Posted by Richard Outen on December 06, 2010 at 11:49 PM PST #

Hi, Richard,

See this externally-published article:

In-Depth: Using Third-Party Identity Managers with E-Business Suite Release 12
http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2008/08/indepth_using_thirdparty_identity_managers_with_eb.html

Good luck with your integration.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on December 07, 2010 at 12:56 AM PST #

Thanks that's great.

Regards
Richard

Posted by Richard Outen on December 07, 2010 at 09:34 PM PST #

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